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Tag Archives: Rape Crisis Midwest

Letting a light shine for fellow survivors of rape

“MY NAME is Martin Vernon and I’m a survivor of rape.” The words that the Ennis man spoke on RTÉ radio last month have had a huge resonance. Since the programme, Martin has had contact from all over the world, as well as many donations to a fundraiser he has organised for Rape Crisis Midwest. They have supported him in coming to terms with an attack he suffered more than 50 years ago. This year, the organisation is facing a sharp drop in funds and a steep rise in demand. At 15, Martin was groomed by two older men. He was invited to a party where he was drugged and raped. “It’s affected my life very badly in lots of ways that I’m sure are directly related,” he says.  Martin attempted twice to commit suicide and, in the past, had issues with gambling and alcohol. He likens the decades since the brutal attack to carrying around a sack of rocks. …

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Spike in calls to Rape Crisis Midwest, as funding drops

RAPE Crisis Midwest has seen an increase of more than 50% in helpline contacts since the start of the pandemic, as it struggles to make up a funding shortfall of around three-quarters. Fundraising Manager, Verena Tarpey told The Champion that many of the calls since March relate to abuse experienced decades ago, and that the lockdown may have triggered painful childhood experiences for some. “There’s no doubt that, particularly during the first lockdown when people were at home with their kids, there may have been triggers for them,” she said. “People also had time to reflect and to take stock. We saw a marked increase in calls to our centre during lockdown. Between March 1 and September 30, there was an increase of approximately 54% in helpline contacts when compared to the same period in 2019. There was also a significant increase in contact from particular age groups in the Midwest with a spike from those in the 24-29 and …

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Increase in number of contacts made to Rape Crisis Centres

A SIGNIFICANT 23% increase in contacts made to Rape Crisis Centre helplines during the three months of lockdown has been described as “not surprising” by Rape Crisis Midwest. As Rape Crisis Midwest’s Ennis centre became one of the first to re-open in the Midwest after lock-down, Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) has released statistics showing how Covid-19 has impacted survivors of sexual violence and Rape Crisis Centres. The RCNI data was drawn from six centres, including Rape Crisis Midwest, during the Covid stay-at-home period from March-June 2020. According to Verena Tarpey of Rape Crisis Midwest, “The report published last week reflects what Rape Crisis Midwest experienced on the ground over the last number of months. Our centre had to close in March, but we remained very much open to our clients. Staff were flexible in their working hours adjusting to the needs of clients – many taking place at night and over weekends where survivors were able to find a safe place to talk.” The …

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Support Still Available for Sexual Violence Survivors Despite Lockdown

VITAL counselling services for those who have experienced sexual violence continue to be provided in Clare, despite the lockdown conditions imposed to control Covid-19. Rape Crisis Midwest (RCMW), which has offices in Ennis, Limerick and Nenagh, has said that the increased financial and health concerns caused by the crisis, as well as looking after children at at time of restricted opportunities to travel outside the home have put new pressure and strain on families. While the service had to close its doors in the middle of last month, it continues to offer counselling, using remote technologies to make sure that clients are supported. “The doors of RCMW may have closed on March 15, but we remain very much open,” a statement from the organisation said. “We have adapted to the needs of the men and women who access our service every week by offering counselling and support on a remote basis. This can take the form of telephone support, Skype, …

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Counselling delay for rape survivors

Survivors of rape and sexual assault are waiting between six and nine months for counselling at the Ennis branch of the Rape Crisis Midwest, due to increased demand for services and cuts to funding, it has emerged. Last year, the Ennis centre, along with the one in Nenagh, were forced to close for a month, due to a funding shortfall. The funding situation remains “critical”. Ann Ginnane, counsellor and psychotherapist with the Ennis centre, explained that while the waiting times are lengthy, people who present in crisis are prioritised. “Of our clients, 70% approximately would have suffered historic sexual abuse and 30% would be people who have been recently raped. We have a waiting list of about six to nine months, as we are only open here in Ennis two days a week. “But when there is an emergency, or if someone contacts us in crisis, we try to prioritise them. We always follow up. We never leave people out …

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Rape Crisis launch video campaign

The Rape Crisis Midwest has launched a powerful and thought provoking new video ad campaign entitled What Happens Next Matters. The video came to fruition after the Rape Crisis Centre (RCC) was approached by Cashmere Media Production Company, who offered their time, services and expertise for free, following their public funding appeal last year. Working collaboratively with Cashmere Media and Rape Crisis Network Ireland, the key messages they wanted to address became clear, acquaintance rape, consent and victim blaming. According to the National Rape Crisis Statistics Report 2013, 91% of perpetrators of rape were known to the victim. “Consent is a vital part of sexual relationships. It is paramount that enthusiastic consent be given before any and all sexual activity occurs between partners, but what the video also shows is that consent can be withdrawn at any time. Everyone has the right to change their mind and this choice should be respected,” said a spokesperson. Victim blaming and the stigma …

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Rape victims face September crisis

TRAUMATISED victims of sexual abuse and rape will be forced to cope on their own for the next month, when Rape Crisis Midwest closes its outreach centre in Ennis. A funding shortage of €120,000 this year has meant the Ennis and Nenagh centres will close from Monday next until Monday, September 29. Psychotherapist and counsellor, Anne Ginnane works in the Ennis centre and is very worried about the impact of the closure on her clients. “I’ve spent a lot of time over the past four weeks preparing my clients for this closure. I’ve asked them how it’s going to affect them and I have worked on that with them. I’ve given them strategies. They can phone Rape Crisis in Limerick. They might get an answering machine and they’ll try to get back to them and help them with the limits they have. “There is also the Samaritan 24-hour phoneline, if clients are suicidal and other referral phone numbers that I’ve …

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Rape Crisis Midwest in Clare Announces Temporary Closure

One in four people have been subjected to some form of sexual violence, according to Rape Crisis Midwest – a service which offers support and help to the one in four affected by sexual violence in County Clare. However, due to the declining financial status of the charity organisation, which is used by 12 people every week in Clare, they will close their Ennis based service temporarily for the month of  September. Rape Crisis Midwest has had to make the difficult decision to temporarily close both its Clare and Tipperary services for the month of September as the charity faces a shortfall estimated to be in the region of €120,000. All services provided at the Tracklands Business Park, on Clonroadmore in Ennis will be cut for the month of September and will be reassessed based on whether the service can make up the shortfall through public support in the interim. A skeletal service will remain in Limerick for the month …

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