CSO: Most sexual crimes involve male suspect and female victim

CSO: Most sexual crimes involve male suspect and female victim

More than three-quarters of sexual crimes detected in 2018 involved a male suspect and a female victim, according to new statistics.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has for the first time published a breakdown by age and gender of both victims and suspected offenders of serious crimes reported to gardaí.

A person is recorded as a suspected offender when they have been deemed responsible for the crime by gardaí and have been issued with a sanction such as a charge, summons or caution.

In 2018, almost four out of every five (79.8 per cent) detected sexual violence crimes involved a male suspected offender and a female victim.

Across all sexual violence crimes reported in 2018, 98 per cent of suspected offenders were male, with just one in 50 suspected offenders being female.

Noeline Blackwell, lawyer and head of Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, said the figures reflected the centre’s own annual statistics.

She added: “While serious barriers remain to reporting – people blaming themselves when they shouldn’t, or not wanting to report people they know, sometimes intimately – our own experience is that there is an increasing trend towards reporting recent abuse. While this is very welcome, we are still hugely under-resourced to deal with it.”

Only 10 of the 28 Garda divisions across Ireland have specialist units dealing with crimes of intimate violence.

Ms Blackwell said: “There was a commitment that every division would have one by late 2019 or early 2020. It’s essential that this happens. The specialist services have led to a much better, more efficient, and less traumatic experience for victims.

“It is also in the wider society interest that when crimes happen, they are properly investigated and prosecuted, particularly in an area of crime which is vastly under-reported in comparison to other crime.”

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