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Ennis home for new rape crisis centre

SURVIVORS of rape and sexual assault in Clare will no longer have to make the difficult journey to Limerick for counselling with the opening in Ennis of a new outreach centre of Rape Crisis Midwest.
According to the centre, which was founded in Limerick 30 years ago, it has become apparent that for many Clare people attending the free and confidential service that the journey to Limerick was proving difficult.
On Friday, November 25 the new outreach centre in Ennis at Tracklands Business Park, Clonroadmore, will be officially launched.
The outreach centre will be managed by Anne Ginnane, a local counsellor with Rape Crisis.
“We hope the centre will be a warm and welcoming place for people – having a centre in Ennis mean less travelling for many survivors from all parts of County Clare,” she said.
The new centre receives no direct Government funding to service the overheads relating to the Ennis outreach office, relying heavily on the generosity of the local people to keep the centre open.
In addition, a new website, ­­www.rapecrisis.ie, has just been launched and will provide, for the first time, access to ­information regarding a range of ­services in Clare and the Mid-West Region.
According to Verena Tarpey of Rape Crisis Midwest, “We hope the website will encourage more people to avail of the services and to increase awareness of sexual violence in the Mid-West.
“Many people affected by abuse may be reluctant or may hesitate to contact the centres directly.
“They may not wish to avail of counselling at present or in the future. Instead, the website will give them and their family access to up-to-date information.
“For example, what to do if a person discloses abuse, how to help a loved one, the different types of sexual assault and information on the sexual assault treatment unit.
“We hope the website will connect with various sectors of society and to all ages.
“You can become a fan of our ­Facebook page and follow details of different events taking place in the
Mid-West, join in our Twitter ­conversations and view our YouTube videos.
“People can then see, in a real sense, what is taking place at the centre. Examples include a new programme for transition year pupils being piloted in Coláiste Muire, Ennis or a seminar taking place in Thomond Park on the laws of sexual offences.
“We are always looking for volunteers to help us carry out this work so please become a fan of our Facebook page and contact us.
“This website is a work in progress so feel free to make any comments or suggestions as the nature of the website,” Ms Tarpey added.

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