Labour Youth has today called for the restoration of funding to the Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI), the recipient of this year’s Jim Kemmy Thirst for Justice Award last weekend in Limerick.
Speaking on the matter, Chairperson, Chloe Manahan has said
“The work that the RCNI does for people at a time when they are at their most fearful and vulnerable is heroic. Unfortunately, this invaluable service is being performed under increasing strain due to funding cuts under Tusla.
“With adult victims of rape and sexual abuse technically outside Tusla’s child and family oriented remit, there are concerns that the restoration of funding if treated as solely within the remit of Tusla may be still detrimental to the organisation.
“The RCNI is the only independent body in the State to deal with survivors of rape. Heavily dependent on Tusla for its funding, it and the people it represents and helps are left extremely vulnerable to cutbacks.
“The existence of a centralised network that can comprehensively report conditions around the country presents a unique opportunity for policy-makers. Without this, individual rape crisis centres are left out in the wilderness shouting into the wind. The RCNI must be protected if survivors are to be protected. Ireland has a very low rate of conviction of rape, with low rates of survivors reporting; Undeniably we have a problem.
“In the year of #IBelieveHer, #MeToo and the repeal campaign in which survivors laid bare their stories of abuse, commitments to a progressive Ireland that protects people from sexual violence must be backed up by concrete action. If this government is serious about justice for survivors, it must ensure that funding is restored for the RCNI”.