The number of people who needed the support of rape crisis counselling in this county last year rose by 20%, according to figures released by the Tipperary Rape Crisis and Counselling Centre.
The report also reveals that the number of men coming forward to attend counselling has doubled.
The centre manager, Anita Clancy, said these 2012 statistics highlight that the need for the service is increasing annually and it is a testament to the excellent work of the staff of the centre that so many survivors of sexual violence are availing of the TRCC services.
Ms Clancy also attributed the increased numbers during 2012 to the two new outreaches opened in Cashel and Thurles. The service is now available from four sites in Tipperary, which has increased its accessibility.
There was also a 50% increase in the number of male clients who attended the Centre during 2012. However, Ms Clancy said that in an evaluation of the service last year, the feedback from clients was that TRCC is sometimes perceived as a service only offered to female survivors of sexual violence. She would like to clarify that this is not the case as male survivors have been attending the service since 1996. Ms Clancy stressed that the service is available to all survivors of sexual violence, men and women.
The centre also provides counselling for supporters, family and friends, of survivors.
Some of the other figures released by the Tipperary Rape Crisis and Counselling Centre in its report make stark reading - 12% of clients were aged under 20; 65% (and the majority of clients) were aged between 20 and 40; 9% of clients were supporters of survivors; 80% of clients were female; 20% of clients were male.
There were 840 Counselling Calls to the centre’s helpline, of which 700 were genuine counselling calls, when hoax, hang-up, silent and obscene calls are excluded.
Miss Clancy concluded that “we can see from the increased numbers of victims in the statistics seeking the services of the TRCC in 2012, that it is imperative we ensure the continuation of the work of the TRCC going forward.
“Anyone requiring any further information, or seeking support or an appointment, please contact the freephone number 1800 340 340 which is available during opening hours.”
Opening hours are: Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9am to 5pm; Tuesday 9am to 4pm; Thursday 1pm to 9pm.
The services provided by the Tipperary Rape Crisis and Counselling Centre include: face to face counselling and therapy for male and female adult survivors of sexual violence, under 18 year olds with parental referral; counselling for partners, family, friends of survivors; Court and Garda accompaniment, as well as the helpline.