Late last year, we were pleased to award a grant to Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC).
Founded in 1979, The DRCC is on a mission towards preventing the harm and healing the trauma of rape and other forms of sexual violence. With their work, they hope to build towards a society in which sexual violence is not tolerated, and where survivors are provided with information and care that supports their empowerment and resiliency when it does occur.
In order to work towards this future, great efforts are made in providing resources to the community around the prevention of sexual violence. Over the past 40 years, the DRCC has been working with the government, non-profit organisations, academic institutions and the general public to share their messages through providing education, training and awareness campaigns.
On an individual level, the DRCC offers a range of supports for victims including counselling via their 24-hour helpline, one-to-one counselling and accompaniment services. Additionally, they also advocate on behalf of sexual violence survivors, ensuring that they have access to responsive and sensitive services provided by law enforcement officials, medical personnel and the courts.
The charity receives roughly 1,000 contacts to their national helpline every month from those who have experienced recent and historical sexual assault or abuse. Their services offer a safe and confidential setting to seek support that is both people-centric and empowering for victims. Within the DRCC team, there are currently 50 staff on board, 20 of whom are therapists. Due to the Nature of the work they undertake, therapists are only able to work 3 days a week. The counselling services are provided from their Dublin office, however, the charity also has additional outreach services in Coolock, Tallaght, North County Dublin and Dóchas Women’s Prison.
Last year, The Hospital Saturday Fund’s Dee Wright had a call with Kirsty Cawthron, DRCC’s Head of Fundraising to discuss their grant application. Kirsty mentioned that they intended this funding to go towards extending their “Moving Forward from Sexual Violence” project, a predominantly online support service for coping with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
When an individual participates in the project, the process usually starts with a face-to-face visit with a therapist, who assesses their needs and expectations. This is followed up over 6 weeks with modules on trauma response, reactions to trauma, managing hyper-arousal, re-experiencing, avoiding and numbing. Every case is unique, and the project is aimed to upskill and educate survivors of sexual violence to recover PTSD and improve their health. As the pandemic has caused restrictions and isolation to all of us, for a victim of sexual abuse, this project has given them a lifeline that they would not have had.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, an unpredicted increase in the volume of victims has also occurred, almost doubling compared to previous recordings. In particular, DRCC have recently had an increase in young callers who have become victims of abuse from attending non-compliant house parties or gatherings. The victims feel ashamed that they were somewhere where they shouldn’t have been, along with enduring the trauma of the abuse they have suffered.
The Moving Forward project has been deemed invaluable towards assisting those in need of help. To aid with the expansion of their services to cover the whole of Ireland, DRCC were awarded a grant for €13,500 from The Hospital Saturday Fund.
To learn more about DRCC, visit: www.drcc.ie