Sexual Assault Treatment Unit

What is a Sexual Assault Treatment Unit?

There are six Sexual Assault Treatment Units (SATUs) in Ireland. They provide specialist care for women and men aged fourteen years and over who have recently been sexually assaulted or raped.   If you are under 18 years of age you must have a parent or legal guardian with you. This is because they will have to give their permission for a forensic clinical examination.

The specialist team of SATU staff provide easily accessible, holistic services which address the medical, psychological and emotional needs and appropriate follow up care for victims of sexual crime, in a supportive, sensitive manner. This includes provision of treatment such as emergency contraception and medication to reduce the possibility of developing sexually transmitted infection.  The SATU services respond to requests from the Gardaí for the collection of forensic evidence to aid the legal process and also provide services for people who do not wish to report the incident to the Gardaí. There is no charge for any of the SATU services or follow up appointments. SATU services can be contacted at any time via An Garda Síochána, or by contacting the individual SATU. If a person wishes to report an incident to An Garda Síochána, this should be done as quickly as possible and delays should be avoided.

 

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Where are the Sexual Assault Treatment Units?

Cork SATU

Donegal SATU

Dublin SATU

Galway SATU

Mullingar SATU

Mid-West SATU

Waterford SATU

 

Cork Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU)

Service available 24 hours a day 365 days a year

Located in South Infirmary / Victoria University Hospital, Cork.
Sexual Violence Centre Cork psychological support workers are available to all attending patients.
Monday – Friday, 0830-1630 contact 021 4926297/ 021 4926100 Bleep 789
Out of hours or week-ends contact Nursing Admin 021 4926100

Donegal Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU)

Services available 08.00 – 20.00 hrs, 365 days a year
Located in NoWDOC premises, Old Town, Letterkenny.
Donegal Sexual Abuse & Rape Crisis Centre psychological support workers are available to all attending patients. .
Services can be accessed via Sexual Assault Treatment Unit: 0870681964 or via 0749104436 (08.00 - 20.00 hrs 7 days a week)
Out of hours please contact Letterkenny General Hospital Emergency Department: 0749125888 ext. 3595

Dublin Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU)

Service available 24 hours a day 365 days a year

Located in Rotunda Hospital, Dublin 1.
Dublin Rape Crisis Centre psychological support workers are available to all patients.
For advice or to book an appointment ring the unit on 01 8171736 Mon- Fri 08.00 and 16.00

Out of hours contact Rotunda Hospital 018171700 and ask for SATU.

 

Galway Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU)

Service available 24 hours a day 365 days a year

Located in a dedicated building near Galway racecourse.
Galway Rape Crisis Centre psychological support workers are available to all attending patients.
For advice or to book an appointment contact your local Garda Station or ring the unit 091765751 or 0876338118 Mon -Fri 0800- 16.00.

Out of hours contact your local Garda station.

Mullingar Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU)

Service available 24 hours a day 365 days a year

Located in Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar.
Tullamore Rape Crisis Centre psychological support workers are available to all attending patients.
For advice or to book an appointment contact the Gardaí or ring the unit 044 9394239 or 086 0409952 Mon -Fri 0800- 1730.

Out of hours or week-ends contact your local Garda Station or call nursing administration via hospital switchboard on 044 93 40221 

Sexual Assault Services Midwest

Available 365 days a year Monday - Friday 6pm – 8am Saturdays, Sundays & Bank Holidays 24 hours
Located in Mid Western Regional Hospital Limerick Outpatients Department RCC in attendance
Contact SHANNONDOC Tel: 1850 212 999
During office hours contact Galway or Cork SATU

Waterford Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU)

Service available 24 hours a day 365 days a year

Located in Waterford Regional Hospital.
Waterford Rape and Sexual Abuse centre psychological support workers are available to all attending patients. For advice or to book an appointment contact the SATU directly on 051 842157 or

Out of hours contact the nurse on call via the hospital switchboard on 051 848000

 

What happens when you attend a Sexual Assault Treatment Unit

When you attend the SATU, you will be brought to the examination suite where you will meet a forensic clinical examiner; this may be a doctor, a midwife or a nurse and an assisting nurse. The forensic clinical examiner will carry out a forensic clinical examination. This is a special type of exam which is carried out to get evidence following a sexual assault or rape.

A member of the Gardaí will also be present. A Garda must be there for legal reasons if you are having a forensic examination. They are not present if you are not reporting the crime to them. The procedure and examination will be explained to you by the forensic clinical examiner and you (or your parent or guardian) will be asked to sign a consent form.

You will be asked some general health questions as well as specific questions relating to what happened. You will be asked to outline your memory of events. All the staff in the unit appreciate that it may be difficult for you to give all these details again, but it is important that the exact nature of events is known to ensure that appropriate physical checks can be done, necessary  treatment can be administered and forensic samples can be taken.

A gown will be provided for examination and your clothes may be taken by the Gardaí. You will usually be asked to provide a urine sample and blood tests.

The forensic examination will then be performed and any injuries will be documented. Relevant samples will be taken, such as hair and nails and swabs from intimate examination (vagina or penis). Depending on the type of assault, it may also be necessary to examine the back passage and swabs will usually be taken from this area too.

Forensic samples can be taken up to seven days after a rape or sexual assault, but all SATUs also provide care for patients who present after 7 days by documenting and treating injuries, helping you deal with any worries you may have, providing you with preventative treatment (eg for sexually transmitted infections), performing a general health check and organising follow-up care if needed.

If you change your mind once you are at the SATU, you can choose not to go ahead with the exam, you can stop the exam at any time and the staff will always respect and support your wishes.

After the examination you will be given whatever additional care you need eg treatment of minor injuries, preventative treatment for sexually transmitted infections and emergency contraception. You will also be given details of follow-up appointments and useful contact information.

Any further questions?

SATUs exist first and foremost to assist patients who have experienced unwanted sexual contact of any kind. Please contact your local unit (or local Garda Station) directly if you have any further questions or concerns.