Graphic Logo for COSC depicting a harp and text

The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

An Oifig Náisiúnta um Fhoréigean Baile, Gnéasach agus Inscnebhunaithe a Chosc

  1. Help for those who have experienced sexual violence/assault

Help for those who have experienced sexual violence/assault?

If your concern is related to a current incident of sexual abuse of a child please contact Children at Risk Ireland Foundation Helpline: 1890 924 567

The following notes are specifically for adults who have recently experienced sexual violence/assault.
Incidents of sexual violence/assault can be reported to the Gardaí. Persons affected can also contact the local  Rape Crisis CentreWomen's Aid or any of the other relevant local support services listed on our Local & National Services page
It is up to the person who has/is being assaulted to decide if they want to report the incident(s) of sexual violence/assault to the Gardaí. Washing themselves or their clothes they were wearing at the time of the assault could possibly destroy valuable forensic evidence if later the victim decides they do want to report the incident to the Gardaí. While their first thoughts might be to clean themselves up you must realise that until they decide what they want to do, it is best to leave their options open. For that reason it is also best to avoid drinking anything after an assault that involved oral penetration so that a swab can be taken. However, it‟s important to realise that the gathering of forensic evidence needs to be done within a very short time period for the best results to be obtained. Good quality forensic evidence obtained can greatly strengthen the possibility of successfully prosecuting the offender.

When a person has been raped or sexually assaulted, they need to consider seeing a doctor as soon as possible. They should consider doing this irregardless of whether or not they want to report the assault to the Gardaí. The idea of a physical examination may be distressing, but seeking medical help may be of benefit from the view of personal health, and for forensic evidence, if later the person decides to report the crime. This way they can get any injuries treated, get tested and treated for possible STIs and be advised of the availability of counselling. Persons seeking help can also ring their nearest Rape Crisis Centre for the best place to seek medical and other attention in their Local Area

Without committing themselves to anything, victims can ring their nearest Rape Crisis Centre and they will offer support and information about what to do in the immediate, short and long-term future. Some Rape Crisis Centres have trained volunteers to accompany victims to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit, the Garda Station and/or to court – if victims wish. The Centre is a useful port of call at any stage, whatever they decide to do. Their services are for men and women. Click Here for further details.

To report an incident of sexual violence/assault contact your local Gardaí.