ONE-THIRD of cases of sexual violence reported to rape crisis centres last year were perpetrated by family members, according to a report released yesterday.
The Rape Crisis Network National Statistics and Annual Report 2010 found a further third of such violence was perpetrated by friends, acquaintances or neighbours and almost 12 per cent by authority figures. Some 6 per cent of cases involved strangers.
* Almost half of sexual abusers of children were family members;
* Some 20 per cent of survivors of child sexual abuse said the perpetrators were under 18.
The helplines offer counselling, support, advocacy and information. The length of calls ranged from one minute to three hours.
The majority of people contacting the helplines were survivors of sexual violence and one in 10 were supporters, including parents, partners and friends.
Yesterday’s report was compiled using data from 14 rape crisis centres around the Republic by Rape Crisis Network Ireland.
In 2010, 1,730 people attended rape crisis centres throughout Ireland for counselling and support, an increase of 9 per cent on 2009. The figure included 1,545 survivors of sexual violence, while the rest were supporters of survivors.
Some 85 per cent of survivors were women, and more than 95 per cent of perpetrators were men. More than 40 per cent of the female survivors had been subjected to sexual violence in adulthood. Of the 310 male survivors, almost nine out of 10 had experienced sexual violence as children.
The figures supported other findings that male vulnerability to sexual violence decreased with age whereas female vulnerability did not significantly decrease.
Almost 80 per cent of survivors were subjected to one incident of sexual violence – not necessarily a once-off act, but sexual violence connected by the same perpetrator or group of perpetrators.
Almost 70 per cent of perpetrators were aged between 20 and 49 and one in 10 was under 18.
The report found three quarters of those who reported sexual violence had also been subjected to other forms of violence, including intimidation, imprisonment and attempts to kill.
More than 40 per cent of incidents occurred in survivors’ homes, and more than 20 per cent in perpetrators’ homes.
Survivors of sexual violence in childhood most commonly reported sexual assault, while of those subjected to violence in adulthood, more than three quarters had been raped.
Some 301 survivors reported they had been subject to more than one incident of sexual violence, by different perpetrators.
“Survivors who were re-victimised by different perpetrators separately used over 40 per cent more counselling and support than other survivors,” the report said.
In the cases of the 80% of survivors who were subjected to a single incident of sexual violence*
90% of perpetrators were known to the survivors
20% of survivors of child sexual violence said the perpetrators were under 18
3% of children were subjected to the violence by strangers
49% of perpetrators of child sexual violence were family members
15% of males were subjected to the violence in schools
28% of perpetrators of adult sexual violence were partners
*An incident is not necessarily a once-off act of sexual violence. An incident of sexual violence may last hours, days, weeks, months or years.