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Publication of CSO Sexual Violence Survey Welcomed

The Minister for Justice Simon Harris has welcomed the publication of a new CSO survey providing national prevalence figures on sexual violence in Ireland.

The Sexual Violence Survey 2022, commissioned and funded by the Department of Justice, focused on respondents’ experiences of a broad spectrum of sexual violence and harassment experienced in their lifetime.

Minister Harris said, “there is no doubt that many of the figures and statistics in this study are shocking. It is difficult to read statistics that show that this level of sexual assaults and violence have taken place in our society, and I am acutely aware that behind these numbers are real people who have suffered at the hands of someone else.”

  • 40% of respondents had experienced sexual violence in their lifetime.
  • Women respondents were more likely to have experience sexual violence than men. For women, 52% reported having experienced sexual violence at some stage in their lifetime compared to 28% for men.
  • Of those who were victims of sexual violence, 21% of women had non-consensual sexual intercourse, 23% were victims of attempted sexual intercourse, 43% were victims of sexual touching.
  • 30% reported other sexual contact and 25% were victims of non-sexual contact. The respective figures for men were 5%, 7%, 17%, 10% and 16%.
  • Younger people reported higher levels of sexual violence.
  • 80% of those who experienced sexual violence knew the perpetrator.
  • Women were more likely to disclose than men.

Minister Harris added, “the figures are devastating, including that one in five women have been raped. Equally as stark and upsetting is that we know from this study that the vast majority of these victims knew the person that did that this to them, presumably it was someone they had once trusted.”

“These statistics underline why we have taken a ‘zero tolerance’ approach in the Third National Strategy on domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. This is an ambitious five-year programme of reform to achieve a society which does not accept sexual violence or the attitudes which underpin it. That societal change, that cultural shift is key.”

“The Strategy’s accompanying implementation plan, which runs to the end of this year, sets out 144 detailed actions which are assigned to my department and other agencies and departments across Government. A key part of implementation will be the establishment of the new statutory DSGBV Agency which will ensure a permanent and dedicated focus on this important area of work.”

This release from the CSO is the culmination of five years of work on researching and developing the study, and there are further significant thematic reports to be published in the coming months that will give more information on the types of behaviours and different categories in this study.

The main results of the Sexual Violence Survey 2022 are available on the CSO website.

Minister Harris concluded, “regardless of the circumstances in which sexual violence occurs – a victim of these horrific crimes should never be concerned about reporting what has happened to them and seeking the help they need and the justice they deserve.”

“They can, and should, report what has happened to An Garda Síochána and there is now specially trained Gardaí in every Garda District to engage with, and support, victims of sexual violence. There are also excellent frontline services provided by organisations such as the Rape Crisis Centres, which offer non-judgemental support, a listening ear and information. Information on the full range of support organisation, including specialist support organisation, is available on”


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