Kilkenny Rape Crisis Centre marks 25 years of service

Mary Cody

Reporter:

Mary Cody

Email:

mary.cody@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny Rape Crisis Centre marks 25 years of service

Centre manager, Ruth Butler pictured at last night's event with Deputy John McGuinness

Almost 30,000 Counselling sessions have been accessed by survivors of sexual violence at the Kilkenny Rape Crisis Centre since it opened 25 years ago.  

Of those accessing services, 87% were survivors of sexual abuse, rape or sexual assault seeking counselling and support, while the remainder were non-abusing family members accessing support counselling.  While 16% of clients were men, women made up the majority of those accessing services at the centre, which provides free, professional and confidential counselling and support to survivors who have been sexually abused, sexually assaulted, raped or sexually harassed, at any time in their lives. 

These findings were shared at an event last on Friday to mark the 25th Anniversary of the Kilkenny Rape Crisis Centre.  

Speaking at the event, Ruth Butler, Centre Manager said: “We are delighted to be marking 25 years of the essential work of the Kilkenny Rape Crisis Centre.  The centre provides a safe, non-judgmental and discreet space for women and men who have been sexually abused, sexually assaulted, raped or sexually harassed, at any time in their lives, to receive one-to-one counselling and support. We also provide support counselling for non-abusing relatives or friends of survivors.”

KASA, the new name for the Kilkenny Rape Crisis Centre, was also unveiled at the event.  The new name is the result of a decision to re-brand the centre after feedback from clients, particularly survivors of historic sexual abuse, showed that many of them initially believed the centre’s services may not be for them.   

 “The feedback highlighted that because of the ‘Rape Crisis’ term in our title, many survivors of past sexual abuse, rape or assault believed our services pertained only to those who had been recently raped or assaulted.  We provide counselling and support to all survivors of sexual violence and their families, whether the abuse is recent or in the past.  We undertook this re-brand to ensure that we help as many people as possible in need of our services. Our highly experienced counsellors have been helping and supporting survivors and their families in the process of healing and recovery in Kilkenny for 25 years. We look forward to continuing this work under our new name KASA.” continued Ms Butler.

KASA currently provides a broad range of services to survivors of sexual violence and their families :

Confidential Helpline – free and confidential listening and support service.  Freephone 1800 478 478 

The centre also provides free and confidential counselling for women and men who have been sexually abused, sexually assaulted, raped or sexually harassed, at any time in their lives.