26 May 2005 Edition

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More support for rape crisis services needed

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has called on the government to provide needed additional resources to rape crisis services across the state in the revised estimates coming before the Dáil and to take stronger action to encourage and support reporting sexual violence to the Gardaí. Ó Snodaigh was speaking after attending the launch of the first statewide statistics from the Rape Crisis Network, Ireland.

Speaking after the launch in Dublin on Tuesday he congratulated the Rape Crisis Network "for publishing these important statistics, which deserve attention".

The statistics show that the RCNI's 15 centres took an estimated 45,000 calls last year from people in distress. This figure apparently represents only an estimated 12% of the actual number of people who were subjected to rape, sexual assault or other sexual abuse in the state last year.

"What's even more sobering is that only 20% of that 12% of cases were reported to the Gardaí," said Ó Snodaigh. "This clearly calls for greater resolve and concerted action to increase reporting of these horrific crimes, and also the provision of sufficient resources to those who provide needed support."

An Phoblacht
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