Six units do incredible work in treating and helping vulnerable victims of sexual assault 

More resources are needed to help the HSE and gardaí understand and respond to rising attendance rates at Sexual Assault Treatment Units around the country, according to Social Democrats TD Holly Cairns.

“Professor Maeve Eogan, the National Clinical Lead for the HSE’s Sexual Assault Treatment Units and consultant obstetrician at the Rotunda Hospital, has revealed that 2022 saw a 25% rise in the numbers presenting at the six clinics in Dublin, Galway, Cork, Waterford, Mullingar and Donegal. This was the first year the figure was above 1,000.

“These units do incredible work in treating and helping victims who arrive in a highly vulnerable state. Based on last year’s figures, it is clear that additional funding is required to allow for a greater geographical spread of these specialised units, as well as the expansion of outreach services.

“It is not yet known why there are increased numbers attending Sexual Assault Treatment Units. Therefore, the HSE and gardaí should be given all available resources so they can analyse the figures and have a fuller picture of sexual violence in Irish society.

“We also need to know when the updated Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland (SAVI) survey will be published. This was commenced by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) in 2018 and due for completion within five years. Information from this survey will be vital when it comes to making effective policy in this area.”

January 30, 2023

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