Levels of staff at sexual assault treatment units need to be increased
Labour Health spokesperson, Alan Kelly TD, has said the lack of staff in our sexual assault treatment units is a national scandal waiting to happen in our health service.
According to figures provided by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, there are only six staff working full time in the six sexual assault units around the country.
Deputy Kelly said:
“Description of the conditions in our Sexual Assault Treatment Units (SATU) by the CEO of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre paint a bleak picture of how victims and are treated.
“Currently, the SATU at the Rotunda cannot operate at the weekend due to a lack of staff. The forensic staff in these units work in extremely difficult and emotionally tasking conditions and of course deserve to be given regular and adequate time off. The onus is on the HSE to ensure that these units are staffed properly and that those who want to work in this area are remunerated properly for their efforts.
“The lack of staff can have a distressing effect on victims of sexual assault, who have to deal with long waiting times which can add more stress into a very trying situation.
“We are well aware of staffing crisis in our EDs but this issue needs to have a level of awareness.
“This has come to light the same week Savi 2 Report was announced, if the Government are serious in changing way we deal with victims of sexual assault and violence then they would do more to ensure there are adequate level of staff in these units.
“This needs a cross-departmental response, I will be raising this issue with Minister for Health and the Minister for Justice.”