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Assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Sexual Assault Treatment Unit activity
  1. Daniel Kane,
  2. Nicola Maher,
  3. Maeve Eogan
  1. Sexual Assault Treatment Unit, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Ireland
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniel Kane, Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, Ireland; danielkane{at}

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Concurrent with the global COVID-19 pandemic, studies have identified an increased prevalence of sexual and intimate partner violence.1 In the Republic of Ireland, six Sexual Assault Treatment Units (SATUs) provide around-the-clock forensic, physical, preventative and supportive care for people over the age of 14 years who disclose sexual violence. All six SATUs have remained operational without limitation throughout the period of the pandemic. We here summarise the Irish SATU experience for a 10-month period during the pandemic, starting when the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Ireland and comparing our findings with the same time period in 2019.

Comparing attendances between 1 March and 31 December 2019 (pre-COVID) and 1 March and 31 December 2020, we found several notable features of attendances at the SATU network (table 1).

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Table 1

Comparison of attendances at national Sexual Assault Treatment Units during the periods March–December …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.