Lochside Garage

Sexual violence service struggling to meet demand


IN the midst of the Hollywood sexual harassment scandals, the Nexus NI office in Enniskillen is experiencing it’s highest level of demand.
Nexus NI offer services and support to people who have been affected by sexual violence in any form, and there is currently between 30 and 40 victims on the waiting list in Enniskillen.
Office manager, Helena Bracken told the Herald that the ‘demand has been steadily rising.’
“We have always had big waiting lists, because we just work with victims of sexual violence, rape and sexual assault. Across the North we have always had around 300 to 400 people on our waiting list but we are at the highest level ever with 629 people waiting, with between 30 and 40 of those people waiting in Enniskillen.”
The increase in numbers may be down to the spike of sexual abuse allegations currently in the media.
Helena believes that “the consequence of this coverage is that people are talking about abuse, whereas before it was a very closed subject.”
“When the Jimmy Saville case broke we had a 40% increase. Now with all the cases in sports and TV we are talking about sexual violence and abuse a lot more now, and people are understanding that it is going on in all sectors of the society.”
While the number of people coming forward in Enniskillen has increased, Nexus NI is struggling with resources to cope with demand.
“The most difficult thing for us is that we are always encouraging people to come forward, but then we have to tell people to wait.
“It is not acceptable as people need help there and then. We just do not have the capacity to deal with it and that is very disillusioning for the victim and for the counsellor. We could do with dozens more therapists right across the North,” said Helena.
To contact the Enniskillen office, call 028 6632 0046 or contact the 24 hour domestic and sexual violence helpline on 0808 802 1414.


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