Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre

This member profile is part of our 20th anniversary series, highlighting a few of the member organisations that have inspired us through the years. View more such impact stories here.


This profile has been been prepared by Vera O’Leary, Manager of Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre.

kerry1

Above: Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre celebrating its 27th year. Being nominated as one of the main beneficiaries for the Ring of Kerry Cycle 2019 has been the icing on the cake for us. From left to right – Vera O’Leary Manager of Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre, Sinead Kavanagh Counsellor, Betty Garnett Counsellor)


Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre (KRSAC) provides a range of services to support women and men, and young people (aged 14 upwards), who have experienced any form of sexual violence at any time in their lives.

We are unique as our services are free and are provided by a team of highly qualified professionals. The services include face to face counselling, helpline counselling, support groups, garda and court accompaniment, advocacy, crisis intervention and supplemental services for supporters and significant others. We also deliver prevention and awareness programmes to young people in schools, colleges and other youth settings.

We have been influential in the past 10 years in building up and improving our responses to sexual violence. To date, much of our attention has rightly been focused on the vital work of responding appropriately to the crime of sexual violence, on building infrastructure and improving our responses. We have now become more focused on prevention and one element of preventing sexual violence is by tackling the culture that exists for young people. We will continue to undertake and develop vital sexual violence prevention work with young people in schools and elsewhere in our efforts to raise awareness and effect the kind of attitudinal change which in the longer term offers the best prospect of the challenge to sexual violence that is so badly needed.

There have been many challenges over the past ten years. The recession had for many reasons a serious impact on our services. Our funding was seriously reduced yet we experienced an increased demand for the services and supports provide by KRSAC.

There have been many challenges over the past ten years. The recession had for many reasons a serious impact on our services. Our funding was seriously reduced yet we experienced an increased demand for the services and supports provide by KRSAC. We also experienced a dramatic reduction in funds raised through fundraising initiatives. The recession, coupled with the crisis in public confidence caused by all the highly publicised scandals in the sector resulted in our public donations being greatly reduced. 

We have some concerns about the level of compliance needed without any additional resources.  We are up for the challenge, but we need joined up thinking from our funders and regulators to avoid unnecessary duplication and administrative costs. The Wheel has lobbied on this issue and the need for more streamlining on reporting structures and many other related issues such as the need for multi-annual funding to enable organisations to budget and plan effectively.

Being a member of the Wheel has enabled us to avail of a suite of high- quality publications and access to relevant online and other training. We are confident that the Wheel has built a strong image and is respected as an informed voice. It represents the sector at a national level and ensures that the important role played by Community Voluntary sector is recognised at Government level. It resources the sector whilst also ensuring a high level of compliance.

In the next 10 years we hope to effect real and substantial societal change to people’s attitudes on sexual violence which will ultimately reduce and prevent sexual violence in the long term.

kerry2

Above: Billy Keane, writer, publican & Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre Ambassador & Vera O’Leary Manager of Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre

Kerry Rape & Sexual Abuse Centre