Ireland's sexual assault clinics face increasing admissions

Just when young students should be celebrating the end of their high school careers, or the beginning of their university life, another worrying trend is appearing says Irish health minister. 

Eliza Archer
Eliza Archer NewsMavens, Europe
Ireland's sexual assault clinics face increasing admissions - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Irish health minister, Simon Harris, has reported an increase in admissions to sexual assault units on both the eve of Leaving Cert Results night, as well as on the evenings of student events occurring with the beginning of university. These numbers have been rising for the past 4 years.

While numbers have been rising, sexual assault units in Ireland have been chronically underfunded. Approximately 50 of the victims last year were forced to travel to a center in a different location and other units were closed for almost two thirds of the month -- all due to a lack of staff.

In a statement from Harris he said, “Sadly, sexual violence has been too invisible. As a result of it being invisible in our country, we have arrived at this point, where we have to say ‘hang on, we need to really overhaul things here’”

In an effort to support these units, and deal with increasing numbers of victims effectively, the Irish government announced plans to increase funding and double the amount of forensic nurses available to these units. Furthermore, Harris has proposed the creation of a “rapid responder”, an individual that can travel to the victim in the case that the unit is unable to see them.

Details from the story:

  • In a government review, it was concluded that the numbers of individuals admitted to these centers could double by 2026 to 2,248 admissions per year.
  • Sexual assault units collect DNA evidence that may be used to prosecute offenders.
  • The government has allocated an additional €500,000 to the units for this year.
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