herald

Wednesday 17 January 2018

Rape calls rocket as helpline funds cut

Desperate calls to a rape crisis helpline rose by a fifth last year as it was forced to cut its budget by 20pc, it emerged today.

Galway Rape Crisis Centre (GRCC) heard from 621 people in 2010, up from 518 the previous year, many who have waited decades before coming forward for help.

Figures also showed there was almost one rape a week in the region, with staff supporting 50 victims of sexual assault. Some 40pc were teenagers.

Executive director Aoibheann McCann said that number has almost doubled this year but said budget cuts have led to longer waiting lists for one-to-one counselling.

"We tried to make cutbacks that would lessen the impact on clients including pay cuts and non-replacement of staff but ultimately clients were hit with less counselling available," said Ms McCann.







Triggered

GRCC's expenditure was cut by more than ¤80,000 due to 10pc drop in State funding and another 10pc fall in fundraising revenue.

Some 33 people are waiting to see a counsellor -- some who have been on a list for more than six months.

Figures also revealed there was a 7pc fall in counselling sessions available -- from 2,609 in 2009 to 2,422 last year. Men using the service rose from 12pc to 14pc.

The number of people aged in their 50s also rose, with many having memories of child sex abuse triggered by high-profile court cases or clerical abuse reports.

hnews@herald.ie

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