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€500,000 in extra funding for sexual assault treatment units announced

The Government has announced €500,000 in additional funding to improve the treatment victims of...
Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

12.45 28 Mar 2019


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€500,000 in extra funding for...

€500,000 in extra funding for sexual assault treatment units announced

Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

12.45 28 Mar 2019


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The Government has announced €500,000 in additional funding to improve the treatment victims of sexual assault can access.

The most recent figures available show that reports of sexual assault increased by almost 30% in 2017.

In 2017, 941 people attended a National Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) following an assault.

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There has also been an average annual increase of patients reporting to the units of around 11% over the last four years.

Under new plans, the number of forensic nurse examiners will more than double to 15.

'Rapid responders' will be on call and able to travel to support victims if necessary.

Over the next two years, the Government's also committing to increasing and ring-fencing the SATU budget by 25%.

They're aiming to expand the service to look after patients' longer-term emotional and social needs, as well as the immediate medical and forensic needs.

Announcing the changes, Health Minister Simon Harris said a societal change is needed alongside the changes.

He explained: "Really what I'm doing as Health Minister is dealing with the fallout of a despicable act of sexual violence.

"As a country, we need to look at what we can do to further reduce that.

"Certainly, proper conversations - discussing issues that we all too often haven't discussed in Ireland until recent years - will help in that regard."

Main image: Minister for Health Simon Harris speaking at the publication of a report on strengthening care for sexual assault victims. Picture by: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

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