There are various forms of violence committed against women and one of the most prevalent is sexual violence.
By definition sexual violence means any non-consented act or activity imposed upon a person. The violence itself can take various forms “including but not restricted to: rape, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, sexual harassment, rape within marriage/relationships, forced marriage, so-called honour-based violence, female genital mutilation, trafficking, sexual exploitation, and ritual abuse.” (Rape Crisis Organisation)
Sexual violence never seems to be an easy topic to openly discuss due in part to its sensitive nature, a situation which seems to only feed the crime’s prevalence.
Research in Ireland (SAVI) showed that 42% of women and 28% of men as having experienced some form of sexual abuse or assault in their lifetime (McGee et al, 2002). Further research shows that only around 33% of incidents are reported in Ireland to the police or another formal authority. (Donegal Rape Crisis Centre, 2012) While 90% of sexual violence perpetrators are known to their victim. Such statistics highlight the victim’s insecurity over coming forward and the fact that perpetrators are commonly known to them.
By engaging in an open conversation however we can help break down the negative attitudes and barriers which allow sexual violence to continue and instead start to ensure its prevention.
To help bring awareness to the crime of sexual violence, Inclusion Ireland has produced an information booklet, which holds answers to some of the questions people may be afraid to ask. While it also provides information of the support available to victims and the actions we can take to report a crime of sexual violence.
Click here to view and download the information and support booklet
Remember you are not alone, there are people you can talk to If you or any one you know have been effected by sexual violence you can find support with Donegal Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre, call them for free on 1800 44 88 44.