Sexual violence survey to set ‘baseline’ for government efforts

Sexual violence survey to set 'baseline' for government efforts

Helen McEntee

Research showing that half of women and almost a third of men in Ireland have experienced sexual violence will be used as a baseline against which to measure government efforts to combat sexual violence, justice minister Helen McEntee has said.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) last week published the sixth and final instalment of its sexual violence survey results.

Mrs McEntee said the data sets “provide us with empirical evidence for the scale of the problem of sexual violence in Ireland” as the government prepares to establish a new statutory agency dedicated to tackling and reducing domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV).

She continued: “While much of the data makes for uncomfortable reading, it provides us with a clear indication of the true extent of the prevalence of sexual violence in Ireland.

“This really underscores the importance of a whole of government, whole of society zero tolerance approach to addressing DSGBV. It also underscores the need for the establishment of the dedicated DSGBV agency which I expect to be operational by January 2024.

“We now have a baseline against which to measure the impact of our work across government, as well as to help us develop targeted policies, awareness campaigns and to provide the necessary supports and services.”

Mrs McEntee added: “We knew that this was an area that tended to be underreported and that the numbers we have had up to now did not reflect the true extent of the problem. It is underreported for a myriad of reasons, not least by some because victims feel that they won’t be believed or that they are in some way to blame for their own experience.”

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