Remember core message of consent this Christmas

Rape Crisis Centre highlights crucial issue
  • Deborah Condon

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) is reminding people that its national helpline will remain open 24 hours a day throughout the Christmas and New Year period.

It is also urging people to be aware of the core message of consent.

"Where sexual activity is voluntary and freely engaged in, then it is consensual. But where there isn't free and voluntary consent, then it is sexual assault, up to and including rape. People must take account of what their partner is saying and must stop when their partner no longer consents," commented DRCC chief executive, Noeline Blackwell.

She noted that during 2018, a number of women spoke up about the long-term damage that they suffered as a result of being raped. There was also a lot of discussion about society's tendency to blame victims of rape.

"This year we saw a lot more recognition that the only person to blame for rape is the rapist. We need to keep hammering home the message that the victim of rape is never to blame. This will make it easier for those harmed to disclose the rape and to get the support that they need," Ms Blackwell insisted.

She added that the national helpline is available for anyone who has been recently raped, sexually assaulted or sexually harassed, as well as those who experienced sexual violence ‘a long time ago, but who continue to be harmed by its negative effects'.

The national 24-hour helpline number is 1800 77 88 88. For more information on the DRCC, click here


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