waterford rape and sexual abuse centre



About Us

Waterford Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre (WRSAC),  formerly the Waterford Rape Crisis Centre, came into being in 1984 when there was great resistance by society at large to accept that the problem of child sexual abuse, rape and sexual assault was a reality in our ‘Island of Saints and Scholars’.  The problem remained hidden because as a nation we simply did not want to know.  The subject was taboo and perpetrators felt safe in this climate of secrecy.

However, as the years went on, more and more survivors came forward and demand for our services increased dramatically.  Finally, in 2002 The SAVI Report*, a national survey, provided specific information about the prevalence of sexual violence in relation to age and gender. 

It found that:

  • 42% of women and 28% of men reported some form of sexual abuse or assault in their lifetime.
  • In four fifths of cases of child sexual abuse the abused person knew the perpetrator.
  • 23.6% of perpetrators of adult sexual violence were intimate partners or ex-partners.

Today we operate as a limited company with charitable status.  Volunteer support work is a vital part of the outreach service we offer to victims of rape/sexual assault in the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU).  However, crisis and ongoing counselling/therapy provided in the Centre is now undertaken by a team of professionally trained counsellors.  We have evolved, and will continue to do so, to meet client needs.

One thing remains constant – our admiration for the courage and tenacity of male and female survivors of all forms of sexual violence – the human spirit is indeed resilient.

*The SAVI Report:  Sexual Abuse and Violence in Ireland, McGee H; Garavan R; de Barra M; Byrne J; Conroy R.  Liffey Press ‘02

© Martin Quigley
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