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Funding for Rape Crisis Network must be provided - Ó Snodaigh

1 September, 2006


Sinn Féin spokesperson on Human Rights Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD has backed a call from the Rape Crisis Network of Ireland (RCNI) for a considerable increase in funding to cope with demand for services. Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said "It is not good enough for Health Minister Mary Harney to side step this issue by simply referring it to the HSE while victims of sexual assaults continue to suffer.

He said, "Given the increased prevalence of violence and particularly sexual violence against women in Ireland, demand for services from rape crisis centres throughout the country continue to increase on a yearly basis. However, funding for these services does not increase at anything near the same rate. This results in an increased dependence on charity and volunteer work but ultimately services have to be cut which means victims of sexual violence being denied vital services required to help them to recover from their ordeals.

"It is not good enough for Health Minister Mary Harney to side step this issue by simply referring it to the HSE while victims of sexual assaults continue to suffer. I explicitly raised this issue in a Parlaimentary Question to the Minister in May and she responded by telling me that the HSE would get back to me. They never did.

"It is completely unacceptable that this funding is not being provided but for Minister Harney to be dodging responsibility in this manner is nothing short of despicable." ENDS

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