Monday, June 22, 2020

Mayo Rape Crisis Centre has seen a rise in the number of phone calls they have been receiving since the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

Back in April, the Centre told the Western People that the silence of their phone lines was a cause for concern.

“We are definitely seeing an increase in contact with us. There has been a bit of a change. But I think people will still find it hard,” said Mayo Rape Crisis Centre (MRCC) Director, Loretta Brosnan McDonagh.

She said the strain of lockdown has taken its toll on survivors of sexual violence.

“Traumas have been resurfacing and re-triggering for people. We are all confronted with ourselves when we can’t have access to the same distractions that we are used to,” said Ms Brosnan McDonagh.

The Centre is currently providing remote consultations and counselling sessions.

“From our existing clients, we have had an amazing continuation of services. They have been turning up every week for the remote sessions and they have been talking about the additional strain they are under,” said the MRCC Director.

“People’s capacity to manage has diminished. It’s not as easy to have your session in your bedroom, in your sitting room, or in your car as some clients have had to do,” she added.

She said Covid-19 and the circumstances it brings have thrown up complications and issues for people, some of whom may have had to return to the setting where abuse took place.

“Things are complicated because of family dynamics. They are complicated because there are people back in a home or home area. Some people are back in villages where their abuser is still living. They could have been abused as a child by someone and they know that person is still alive and have a fear of seeing them or meeting them on the road,” said Ms Brosnan McDonagh.

The Centre estimates that it will be late July or early August before face-to-face meetings with clients will be able to resume. They fear that the lack of ability to fundraise this year could take a toll on the service in 2021.

Mayo Rape Crisis Centre can be contacted on the freephone number 1800-234900, by email at [email protected] or visit the centre’s website www.mrcc.ie.

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