Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence

  • The Rape Crisis Centre (24-hour confidential helpline) Freephone: 1800 77 88 88
  • Ireland has six Sexual Assault Treatment Units around the country – they can help you if you have been raped or sexually assaulted. They work 24/7 365 days a year Find your nearest SATU 

Domestic, sexual and gender-based violence takes many forms and can affect anyone, whatever their age, educational background, culture, gender, or sexual orientation.

The HSE Policy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (2010) aims to put in place an integrated and coordinated health sector response to domestic violence and sexual violence. Following on from this the National Social Inclusion office has developed the HSE National Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Training Resource- recognising and responding to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV) in vulnerable or at-risk communities manual (2019).

Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence

The central aim of the Third National Strategy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence 2022-2026  is Zero Tolerance of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence in our society.

An implementation plan, has been approved by the government for the first 18 months of the Strategy, with annual action plans to follow for every subsequent year of the lifetime of the Zero Tolerance strategy.

Relevant Documents

HSE National Domestic, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Training Resource- recognising and responding to victims of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV) in vulnerable or at-risk communities manual (2019)

HSE Second National Intercultural Health Strategy 2018-2023

Female genital mutilation: Information for health-care professionals working in Ireland 3rd edition

Translating Pain Into Action: A Study of Gender-based Violence and Minority Ethnic Women in Ireland

Third National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2019-2024 

National Strategy for Women and Girls 2017-2020: creating a better society for all

2010 HSE Policy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence Identified the Importance of Skills and Awareness

The HSE Policy on Domestic, Sexual and Gender Based Violence (2010) identified having a skills base and awareness as two of the main principles of good practice. These are central to strategic planning and providing prevention and intervention initiatives around domestic violence and sexual violence.

Women experiencing domestic or sexual violence access services through many health-care routes, for example through:

  • the family doctor;
  • the accident and emergency department in a hospital;
  • health care in relation to reproduction;
  • mental health care;
  • family planning;
  • sexual health care;
  • addiction services; and
  • paediatric services.

This means we need a comprehensive and appropriate health sector response at all points of entry. We need to make sure victims are kept safe so staff need to know the signs, indications and consequences of abuse. They need to know how to respond in an appropriate way and be able to make referrals, as appropriate, to a specialist service, where women will be supported to make changes in their lives.

HSE Sexual Health Services

The HSE Anti Human Trafficking Team have the brief of care planning for  victims of trafficking under the statutory national action plan. Persons can be trafficked for sexual, labour and forced crime reasons

A Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) is a safe place to go if you have been raped or sexually assaulted.

SATU Annual Report 2021

More resources on DSGBV