Local agencies should have access to revenue raised from the so-called tampon tax, Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has said.

She was speaking after local sexual abuse charity Nexus reported a recent 21 percent rise in referrals for their specialist counselling services.

Sandra Duffy commented: “Often people do not realise how prolific sexual violence is and sometimes the hardest thing for somebody who has experienced sexual violence is to tell another person about their experience.

“Unfortunately the majority of survivors do not inform the police and reported sexual offences are just the tip of the iceberg.  I would like to commend NEXUS, Women's Aid, the Men's Advisory Project and the Rowan Sexual Assault Referral Centre for taking forward the ‘Break the Silence’ initiative which I fully support.

“While it’s fantastic that more is being done to encourage people to come forward to report sexual offences, those agencies working with victims and survivors remain under-resourced.  Local agencies should have access to funding generated through the tampon tax as is the case in Britain.  All impediments to local agencies accessing this vital funding stream should be immediately removed.”

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