Hi, I’m Aoife.
As we all know, attacks can come in all shapes and forms. Two of the most common types of crime on a night out are muggings and sexual assaults so I have outlined below ways in which to deal with such assaults.
What should you do if you are a victim of crime?
Report the crime to the Gardai. In some cases Gardai will come to the scene of the crime, but if the crime is not serious and the offender has left the scene, Gardai will ask you to go in to the local station and make a report.
If you have been the victim of a sexual assault or rape:
- Find a place of safety. This means getting away from your attacker, preferably to a public place. If you think you're being followed then make as much noise as you can to attract other people's attention;
- Report what has happened. Don't keep quiet. It's vital that you inform the Gardai at the earliest opportunity. If you're female, most Gardai stations have female officers trained to deal with victims of sexual offences in a sensitive way. You can also take a friend or family member along if it helps. Ultimately, reporting the crime could prevent anyone else from becoming a victim;
- Don't change your clothes, shower, bath or wash until you have reported the incident and been examined by a doctor. It may be needed for forensic evidence;
- Examinations made easier. You've been through a traumatic time, and people will recognise this. In cases of sexual abuse or rape, the Gardai will arrange for you to be seen by a doctor in a regional hospital or centre. (Letterkenny, Castlebar, Galway, Cork or Dublin) They can arrange medical attention for trauma and shock, sexually transmitted infections, emergency contraception, and put you in touch with local counselling services.
You can contact the Rape Crisis Network Ireland at Tel: 091 563676 / Fax: 091 563677 or visit their website for information on how to deal with such assaults.
If you have been mugged:
Here's how to deal with being physically attacked.
A mugger is someone who intends to rob you, often with the threat of assault. It's vital that your personal safety comes first, so think before you act. Do you put up a fight, make a big noise, attempt to run away or just submit to their demands? Only you can decide, based on the situation as it unfolds but just don't do anything that increases the risk of getting hurt.
If you've just been mugged, attacked or if you've just seen a crime being committed, then you should ring The Gardai as soon as possible. If you've been relieved of valuable items, like mobile phones or digital organisers, contact your insurance company and find out if you're covered under the terms. Some insurers will stump up for theft of valuables outside the home, but sadly most do not without prior arrangement and additional premium.
Being mugged is a traumatic event. It can trigger a range of strong emotions that may be hard to handle and can even change over time. The bottom line is that whatever you're feeling is fine, from shock to anger, isolation and depression, but in every case it helps to open up about it. Confiding in someone you trust, from a close friend, a family member, or even a counsellor can help you get things in perspective, and allow you to move on with your life.
If you are injured, get medical attention as soon as you can. Have your injuries documented as you may wish to claim compensation at a later date.
Cancel any stolen bank or credit cards as soon as you can, and change the locks for your house if your keys were taken.