According to recent report there has been an alarming 43% increase in the number of young people reporting rape and sexual assault cases by fellow teenagers to the helpline CARI over the past two years.
The helpline say they have received more than 1,500 calls in the last year alone, with the majority of them coming from concerned mothers. The helpline also say the most common incidents being reported were coming from victims of sexual abuse within families. The head of the organisation CARI Mary Flaherty stated that most of the calls being receive relate to young girls under the age of 13.
Ms Flaherty also said the sharp increase of abuse amongst teenagers between the years of 2012 and 2014 by their peers was deeply worrying. Ms Flaherty said: “The fact it’s amongst friends or gangs would be quite different (from abuse by adults).” “The nature of the abuse could be anything from assault using violence and coercion. With young people, the internet is becoming a significant factor, where they are initially setting up in relationship and sexting is turning ultimately to actual abuse.”
The organisation also claimed that unsuspecting teenage victims were being “further traumatised” with their assaults being shared and discussed by fellow peers on social media. They also say the young victims may have to wait up to 12 months for therapy because of ongoing funding cuts.
The annual report also slammed the government saying it was “unacceptable” that children who have been abused are forced to wait up to 12 months for therapy due to severe cutbacks.