Mid and East Antrim councillors have commended the work of the Rowan Centre – Northern Ireland’s only regional sexual assault referral facility, based at the Antrim Hospital site.
Jointly funded by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) and the PSNI, the Rowan Centre delivers a range of support round the clock, 365 days a year to children and adults who have been sexually abused, assaulted or raped.
Service manager Karen Douglas told councillors the Rowan team has offered support, advice and direct care to over 1,892 people since going live on May 7, 2013. Referrals rose by 18 per cent in year two and year three has to date seen a further increase of 11 per cent. Around 37 per cent of those referred were under 18 years.
Cllr Paul Reid said the stastics were “horrific” and Cllr Gerardine Mulvenna added: “It really is a sad state of affairs.”