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17 pregnant after rape - DRCC
[Posted: Tue 20/07/2004 www.irishhealth.com]
By Deborah Condon
Seventeen women became pregnant after being raped last year, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) has said. Of these, six had an abortion, five kept the baby, two miscarried and one gave the baby up for adoption.
The outcome was unknown in the remainder of the cases.
According to its 2003 statistics, which have just been published, 372 women were asked if they had become pregnant after being raped. The centre highlights the fact that many of those who contacted it were not at risk of pregnancy for various reasons, including use of contraceptives or being male.
The DRCC expressed serious concern about the high number of teenagers contacting its 24-hour crisis line. Figures released by the centre show that almost one in four (23%) of those who contacted the line last year were under the age of 17.
Almost 12,000 genuine calls were made to the crisis line in 2003, of which, 3,636 were first time callers. Half of these calls related to adult rape, while 41% related to child sexual abuse. The remaining calls concerned adult sexual assault, sexual harassment, drug rape and ritual abuse.
The majority of callers (85%) were female, while most (86%) were calling from Dublin.
A breakdown by age reveals that 3% were under the age of 15, while 20% were aged 15 - 17. Four in 10 callers meanwhile were between the ages of 18 and 29.
According to the DRCC, trained volunteers accompanied 205 victims to the sexual assault treatment unit in the Rotunda Hospital last year. Volunteers also carried out 21 court accompaniments in 2003.
Over 600 people attended counselling and psychotherapy services. However the centre expressed concern about long waiting lists for these services due to a lack of resources. It also pointed out that those under the age of 18 must have parental consent before undergoing counselling, therefore those who do not tell their parents may never receive the help they need.
The statistics confirm that victims are more likely to report a rape/sexual assault if they do not know the perpetrator, despite the fact that the majority of these crimes (63%) are committed by people known to them.
One in 10 people were raped or sexually assaulted by a boyfriend, husband or cohabiting partner, while 3% were date raped. Just 17% of those raped by relatives or boyfriends reported it to the Gardai however.
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