Some 36% of women who experienced sexual violence felt too “embarrassed or ashamed” to tell someone, according to a new report from the Central Statistics Office (CSO).
The CSO today released findings on “disclosure of experiences” as part of its 2022 Sexual Violence Survey.
Over a third of women who experienced sexual violence as an adult felt too embarrassed to tell someone, compared to 15% of men.
Overall, 49% of people who experienced sexual violence as an adult did not tell anyone.
Some 48% of both men and women said they did not tell anyone about their assault because “they thought what happened was not serious enough”.
A further 22% of women said they did not share their experience because they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time, compared to 14% of men.
Friends, family members and services
The survey found 66% of those aged 18 to 24 disclosed their experience to a friend first, compared to 13% who told a family member.
The majority of people surveyed (79%) said they did not reach out to medical, counselling, or social services.
Among those who contacted a service, 85% of adults said it was helpful.
Some 29% of adults said they chose to share their experience in order to get help.
Among women, 18% said they shared their experience for fear their perpetrator would assault them again, compared to 11% of men.
A previous report from the CSO found 40% of adults experienced sexual violence at least once in their lifetime.
The survey found that women were more likely to experience sexual violence than men – 52% of women experienced sexual violence in their lifetime compared with 28% of men.
Anyone affected by the issues raised in the survey can contact the following helplines:
National Sexual Violence Helpline (for men and women) - 1800 778 888 or rapecrisishelp.ie
National Domestic Violence Helpline (for women) - 1800 341 900
Male Advice Line (for men experiencing domestic abuse) - 1800 816 588