30 March 2018, Good Friday
By Elaine Murphy
For 35 years. Mary Crilly has been to the fore in helping the victims of sexual violence. This week she received the March Cork Person of the Month award to mark her work since March 1983.
She was the first in Cork to introduce counseling and support to women, men and teenagers who have experienced sexual violence or child sexual abuse. Through the Sexual Violence Centre in Cork City, she and her team also engage in research, provide training and education and works with government, statutory and voluntary agencies in order to influence social policy.
The services to the survivors of rape and sexual assault are free of charge and provided by highly experienced professional staff. ” We acknowledge the courage it takes to make the first ‘phone call to the Centre at 1800 496 496 or to visit us at 5 Camden Place, Cork City,” said Mary Crilly. As the Director of the Cork Sexual Violence Centre she is calling for separate courts to fast track sexual assaults and rape cases. She is calling for mandatory sentences. She is calling for a commitment by Garda Síochána to prioritise investigations into child sexual abuse, where digital technology is a factor. ” We get thousands of calls to our helpline every year and hundreds of callers to Camden Place – the courage of those people have kept me here all these years,” said Mary.