Data collection and analysis around domestic and sexual violence is at crisis point in Ireland
Published: Monday, April 16, 2018
The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) today expressed concern over reports that the Gardai have been overstating the number of sex crimes reported by as much as 26% in some years.
Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,
“The figures today showing how Gardai have been overstating the number of sex crimes reported by as much as 26% in some years are just the latest in a long line of headlines which show that data collection and analysis around domestic and sexual violence is at crisis point in Ireland. NWCI has huge concerns that the number of women reporting rape, which was already thought to be as low as 10%, is even lower than previously believed. Our criminal justice system is failing to support women, and failing to hold perpetrators to account, because we do not collect or analyse data in an effective manner.
“While the recent headlines surrounding An Garda Siochana and sexual violence and domestic homicide statistics highlights the gaps we have in our knowledge, this is not limited to the Gardai. It is a system wide issue that involves all State services that interact with victims and perpetrators.”
Orla O’Connor continued,
“We need our authorities to properly record data, from the police, to the court services and the health services. We urgently need our State services – An Garda Siochana, Tusla, the HSE, the Courts Services and the CSO to come together to record data accurately, and importantly to share the data and subsequent analysis. Our current system is archaic and not fit for purpose. This knowledge is critical in addressing the high numbers of women who are failed by the system, and the low conviction rates for perpetrators.
“Furthermore, in order to provide a picture of the extent of domestic and sexual violence crimes that occur in Ireland, it is essential that Garda and Courts data identifies all crimes that are carried out in a domestic violence relationship as domestic violence crimes, and that the data collected in these cases include the relationship between perpetrator and victim. It is also essential that data is disaggregated by gender. ”
For more information, please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, 085 8619087.