Almost 12,000 people contacted Dublin Rape Crisis Centre last year

There were more calls from those looking to talk about sexual violence in adulthood

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, annual report, helpline, Ann Marie Gill, Noeline Blackwell

Image via @KZapponeTD on Twitter

Figures released by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) show that almost 12,000 people contacted the organisation's national helpline in 2015.

Over half of the contacts were from those calling for the first time about rape or sexual abuse.

There were slightly more calls from people who needed to talk about sexual violence in adulthood than those who had suffered sexual abuse as children.

In addition to the telephone line, the centre provided face-to-face therapy to 499 people and accompanied victims of sexual violence to the Rotunda Sexual Assault Treatment Unit, as well as to court and garda stations in the Dublin area.

Introducing its 2015 annual report, DRCC chairperson Ann Marie Gill said: "Our report today shows that reducing the trauma of rape and sexual abuse is very complex.

"It involves supporting victims through counselling and therapy as well as in the justice system.

"The consequences of the crimes of rape and sexual assault are often hidden but it is essential that those who are affected are given the chance and the right to recover."

Launching the report in Dublin, Children's Minister Katherine Zappone added: "Rape causes trauma, loneliness and fear. In these most desperate of moments the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre offers sanctuary.

"As a feminist, campaigner and Government Minister I fully support your work over the past 40-years and value your input into the formation of policy and law. I believe we must continue to work together to protect and support victims, increase awareness and end sexual abuse in all its forms."

Incoming CEO Noeline Blackwell is calling for the urgent enactment of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Bill 2015 when the Dáil returns in the autumn.

The bill is set to tackle internet abuse which is still not illegal in Ireland.

Ms Blackwell also told Newstalk Breakfast people seem more prepared to report sexual violence by a known person to them.

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre helpline can be contacted on 1-800-77-88-88