More People Are Reporting Sexual Offences In Ireland Than Ever Before

298 more incidents were recorded in 2018 than in 2017.

More people are reporting sexual offences in Ireland than ever, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

Figures for 2018 have shown that the number of sex crimes being reported is at an all-time high of over 3,000.

Reported sexual offences increased by 10.3% in the last three months of 2018. 

In 2017, there were 2,884 sexual offences recorded. While for 2018, this number rose to 3,182.

CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre Noeline Blackwell spoke to Newstalk Breakfast about the culture change that has brought more victims forward. 

"As far as we can see in the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, from what we hear and the people we're connected in with - there does seem to be a change in the climate, a recognition that it is proper to report, that if a sexual offence has been committed on you that it is not your fault."

She believes that political involvement is crucial. 

"If they (the Irish Government) were to treat it as kind of an epidemic in some ways, or recognition, a less-hidden epidemic which was hidden before.

"Now something has burst open, and there needs to be a real strong implementation plan - it can't be business as usual".

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) enacted in 2017 introduced a statutory definition of consent to a sexual act. It also provides protections to victims of sexual assault to prevent additional trauma when their case comes to court.

The Criminal Justice (Victims of Crime) Act, also enacted in 2017, includes a range of measures to protect and inform victims as their case goes through the criminal justice system.

It's believed that the introduction of such legislation, as well as the growing popularity of the #MeToo campaigns, have emboldened victims to come forward and finally report crimes instead of inwardly blaming.

For support and information related to rape and sexual violence, the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre's National 24-Hour Helpline is 1 800 77 8888.

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