Rape Crisis Mid West welcomes establishment of new State agency

Karen O'Donnell O'Connor, Director of Rape Crisis Mid West. Photo: Rape Crisis Mid West/Facebook.

RAPE Crisis Mid West has added its voice to Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s (DRCC) expressions of disappointment at the European Council’s decision to exclude rape from the EU’s forthcoming directive on combatting violence against women and domestic violence.

The Limerick organisation’s director, Karen O’Donnell O’Connor, told the Limerick Post that the decision is “very disappointing” in the signals it sends out about rape as a crime.

Ms O’Donnell O’Connor said that while there is disappointment in Europe, there is good news in Ireland that a new agency being set up to bring the response to rape and gender-based crimes under the remit of the Department of Justice.

Legislation to establish Cuan, the domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence agency, has been recently passed by both houses of the Oireachtas and it is now expected the agency will come into being in the coming months.

“We are very heartened that the new agency will be under the Department of Justice,” the Rape Crisis director said.

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“This sends a strong signal about the seriousness of these crimes and the zero tolerance commitment made under the third national strategy on domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence”.

The remit of the new agency is to drive and co-ordinate the government’s response to domestic, sexual, and gender-based violence, including refuge delivery.