THE executive director of the Rape Crisis Centre in Limerick has confirmed that the Rosbrien based facility will not now close for a month, as was feared.
But Miriam Duffy says because of continued financial cutbacks the service will have to close its Clare and Tipperary facilities for at least a month.
The Limerick centre is based at Phoenix House, Punch’s Close on the Rosbrien Road and will, however, continue with a skeleton staff.
More good news is that the sexual assault treatment unit, staffed by volunteers, will operate as normal.
The Limerick centre usually has three counsellors on duty but from next August, that will be cut to one for the foreseeable future.
Rape Crisis Midwest was established 32 years ago and is a regional organisation serving Clare, Limerick and Tipperary.
“We provide a confidential one to one counselling service to both male and female survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse. We see approximately 80 clients a week in the entire Midwest,” explained Ms Duffy this week.
“The financial status of the centre is at a critical point. We are part funded by the Child and Family Agency and like many other charities, have experienced significant cut backs over the last number of years.
“There is no reasonable prospect of meeting our shortfall, estimated to be in the region of €120,000 in the entire Midwest,” she added.
She said that it was is ironic that during difficult economic times, demand for the service in the centres is even greater.
“We do not wish to have to close our doors to those who are most vulnerable in society,” said Miriam.
“Please assist in helping to save our centre and providing this much-needed service to survivors of rape and childhood sexual abuse.”
The service is appealing to the public to help fund the centres and to donate in a number of ways.
Member of the public can log on to www.rapecrisis.ie and follow the link to donate – via credit or debit card.
Contact the Centre on 1800 311511 and donate or get involved by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phoning.