Press Release 1st July 2015
Councillor Connolly said she very much welcomes the unanimous support from the elected members on the Regional Health Forum for her motion calling on the Government to immediately reinstate funding for the Rape Crisis Network Ireland organisation
Cllr Catherine Connolly said she tabled the motion at the Regional Health Forum West meeting held in Merlin Park last Tuesday following urgent and repeated representations from the community in relation to the government withdrawal of funding from the Rape Crisis Network.
When the motion came up for discussion at the meeting she said the cross party support for the motion was overwhelming from all Councillors from Donegal to Tipperary.
The motion passed by the Regional Health Forum West will now be sent to Minister Reilly for his urgent attention.
Councillor Connolly said the work and the services provided by the Rape Crisis Network are absolutely essential. Over the last forty years the organization has been a strong and independent voice repeatedly highlighting the prevalence of sexual violence in our community and the inadequate response of various governments in addressing this issue.
Indeed it has shown over and over that the majority of survivors of sexual violence i.e. four out of five, do not engage at all with the justice system or with one to one counseling and that without an organization such as RCNI the voices of the silent majority of victims would never be heard.
Moreover through its independent collection of data, analysis and research it has a role which is distinctly different from the services provided by the actual Rape Crisis Centres throughout the country. Indeed the independent research and data provided by the RCNI organization is an essential tool in informing any government introducing or changing legislation and/or policies and practices in relation to sexual violence
In the circumstances said Cllr Connolly the withdrawal of core funding by the government from the RCNI beggars belief and highlights in the most acute way the hypocrisy of the Government’s commitment to dealing with sexual violence.