Extra 10% funding for rape crisis welcomed

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RAPE crisis centres in Carlow and South Leinster are to get €274,310 in funding this year, with Kilkenny receiving €193,400.

Overall, a 10% increase in funding is going to 16 rape crisis centres in Ireland.

Ruth Butler manager of KASA, the Kilkenny rape crisis centre said that, while the extra funding was welcomed.

“We’re delighted, our funding was cut by 20% ten years ago so it’s just beginning to restore it back up because our funding was cut but our appointments in the same period of time have gone up 66% so it’s very welcome.

“However, the one thing I would like clarified is, is this a one-off or is it guaranteed going forward because there’s a huge difference at 10%. It’s very welcome but, if I know that 10% is going to be there for the future, then I can plan & use it wisely for long term.”

Without Tusla funding you wouldn’t have a rape crisis centre

She said such funding was essential. “Without Tusla funding you wouldn’t have a rape crisis centre, or as we call ourselves now KASA, yes absolutely it’s our core funding because it’s more and more difficult to raise funds.

“We have generous donations for which we’re very grateful. Counselling is free, and in my opinion it must always be free so that everyone can access this counselling so yes the funding is essential.”

Ms Butler said that the increase in the number of people making appointments locally was partially to do with the fact that people were getting better at reporting.

An element of this is down to the recently established Garda Divisional Protective Services Unit set up for Carlow/ Kilkenny Garda Division at Kilkenny City Garda Station.

the difference that counselling makes is big. I cannot stress that enough

“With our new unit based at Kilkenny, I think more attention is being paid to survivors of sexual violence and hopefully that’s spreading because the difference that counselling makes is big. I cannot stress that enough.”

Almost 30,000 Counselling sessions have been accessed by survivors of sexual violence at the Kilkenny Rape Crisis Centre since it opened more than 25 years ago.

Of those accessing services, 87% were survivors of sexual abuse, rape or sexual assault seeking counselling and support, while the remainder were non-abusing family members accessing support counselling.

While 16% of clients were men, women made up the majority of those accessing services at the centre, which provides free, professional and confidential counselling and support to survivors who have been sexually abused, sexually assaulted, raped or sexually
harassed,

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