Concern Over Rising Number of...


Concern Over Rising Number of Young Girls Experiencing Sexual Assault

Heather Lawrie
Heather Lawrie

04:54 14 Nov 2023

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The amount of teenage girls attending sexual assault treatment clinic is growing year on year.

A new study by the RCSI and the sexual assault treatment unit at the Rotunda hospital has looked at presentations to Ireland's six units between 2017 and 2022.

In the five year period, the amount of teenage girls seeking treatment for sexual assault rose by over 30 per cent.

Of the over 5 thousand 400 attendees in that time, over 1 thousand were under the age of 18.

Although the numbers were not as high, there was also a recorded rise in the amount of teenage boys seeking treatment for assault.


A sexual assault treatment unit at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin City Centre.

Differences In Assault

We spoke to Dan Kane, the Forensic Examiner in the Rotunda SATU.

"We find that they are more likely to be assaulted outdoors and compared to the adult attenders. And this is likely to be multifactorial.
They're more likely potentially to be socialising outdoors and also with reduced supervision." 

Dan highlighted several differences in the way in which younger and older women were assaulted.

Many cases of teenage sexual assault took place outside, in parks, fields or other outdoor spaces.

As well as this, teenage girls are more likely to be attacked by a family member or friend than adult females.

Dane says there is a reason for this:

"It's also possible that given the fact that these people are under the age of 18, it's more likely that they have less supervision and that they also are more likely to be socialising with the potential perpetrators.

Given the fact that we found that these attenders are more likely to be assaulted by either a family member or a friend or somebody that's quite close to them, and in that regard they're more likely to be with those people during daytime hours."


If you were affected by any of the content in this article please contact the Rape Crisis Help,  State services or Active Consent.

The Rotunda Sexual Assault Treatment Unit can be contacted online or by phone, at 01-817 1736 or  01-817 1700 (outside hours).




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