News : A Quarter of Crime Victims Who Rang Helpline Last Year were Assaulted
Dublin, Ireland, Aug 31, 2016 -- Two thirds of calls received by the National Crime Victims' Helpline in 2015 were from women, its annual report revealed today.
Of those contacting the independent charity for support and advice, 63% were women, 36% men and one per cent were unknown.
Assault and burglary accounted for almost half the calls received, while 14% related to harassment or stalking.
Helpline co-ordinator Michele Puckhaber told irishmirror.ie: "The stalking figure has been fairly consistent over the years as has the number of women versus men reaching out for our services.
"We think it may be that women who are victims of crime may feel more comfortable contacting us now and seeking support rather than trying to deal with things on their own.
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"Most of us can understand the emotional and physical impact of assault. Many of us don’t fully grasp the harmful effects that burglary can have on someone’s life.
"Both crimes can leave someone with feelings of vulnerability, anger, fear and sadness."
The helpline – manned by volunteers six days a week - marked ten years in operation last year, with over 3,200 contacts compared to just 168 in 2005.
Of those seeking emotional support and practical information 84% of contacts were by phone, 11% via email, 3% by post and text message accounted for 2%.
The breakdown of calls for help were as follows: Assault: 26%; 20% related to burglary/theft, 14% dealt with harassment or stalking, criminal damage 5%, child abuse 5%, rape/sexual assault 4%, fraud 4% and unknown/other 22%.
The majority of callers (40%) sought emotional support, while a further 37% wanted advice on the criminal justice system.
One in nine wanted a referral to another service, a further 9% required a follow-up call, 3% were for information on compensation and 2% raised ongoing safety concerns.
• The helpline can be contacted at Freephone 116006 or the website; SMS is 085 133 7711 and e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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