How to report sexual assault in Ireland.

If you have experienced sexual assault and want to report the rape or sexual assault, you should go to a Sexual Assault Treatment Unit as soon as possible. The best time for forensic samples to be collected is within the first 72 hours (3 days) after the assault but samples can still be collected within 7 days of the assault.

A Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) is a safe place to go if you have been raped or sexually assaulted.SATU help anyone who has had unwanted sexual contact of any kind. They can also help if you cannot remember what happened but think you may have been sexually assaulted.

SATU look after all genders and gender identities, aged 14 years and over. If you’re under 14, you can get help at Child and Adolescent Forensic Medical Assessment Services. You can bring a friend or family member with you if you wish. All SATU care is free. Your healthcare needs are our priority. SATU will offer you a health check whether you decide to have a forensic exam or not.

If you want to report the assault

You don’t have to report the assault to the Gardaí but following the steps below can help if you do decide to report.If you have recently been sexually assaulted, try not to:

  • eat or drink
  • brush your teeth or use mouthwash
  • smoke or vape
  • shower or take a bath
  • go to the toilet (pee or poo)
  • wash your clothes or underwear
  • touch or throw away any condoms used

You should keep any sanitary products or tampons you wore at the time of the assault or right afterwards

Who you will meet at a SATU

SATU staff are trained in caring for people who have been sexually assaulted. You will be cared for in a respectful, non-judgemental environment.

SATU team includes:

  • an experienced nurse, midwife or doctor who is trained as a forensic examiner
  • support staff (a nurse, midwife or care assistant)

There may also be:

  • a volunteer from the Rape Crisis Centre or CARI. They can support you during your visit, in total confidence
  • a Garda – only if you would like them to be there or if you are reporting the assault

If you were assaulted more than 7 days ago

You can still go to a SATU for care if you were sexually assaulted more than 7 days ago. Although it’s too late to get forensic evidence, SATU can still do injury mapping. This is where your injuries are assessed and documented in case you want to report the assault to the Gardaí.SATU can also help with sexual health testing and give you referrals for any other help you may need.

Support services

A support worker from the Rape Crisis Centre or CARI will be available to support you. They will give you information on follow-up care available to you when you are ready.

The Rape Crisis Centre also offers an accompaniment service. This can be helpful if you would like someone to be with you at the Garda station or in court. You can call the 24-hour confidential helpline any time. Freephone: 1800 77 88 88


If you’re over 18

SATU will keep your details confidential. This is unless there’s a concern that you or anyone else is at risk of serious harm.But if there’s a Garda investigation linked to the assault, evidence may need to be shared in court. The Gardaí will talk you through this process if needed.

If you’re under 18

By law, healthcare professionals have to protect children from harm. If you have been raped or sexually assaulted and you’re under 18, it has to be reported to  Tusla  and the Gardaí. This is to keep you safe and to provide you with support.You will need to have a parent or trusted adult with you at the SATU. This is because sexual assault is a crime and we need to make sure you are not in any further danger.

If you are worried about telling your parent or guardian, team can help by discussing your options.

Where to find sexual assault Treatment unit

SATU is here to help you if you’ve been raped or sexually assaulted. We are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.If you have reported the incident to the Gardaí, they will arrange your appointment and help you get to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU).Otherwise, please ring the number of your local SATU before you arrive.

This is so that we can:

  • help you make the best plan for your care
  • give you directions
  • make sure someone is here to meet you

Find your nearest SATU

There are 6 SATUs in Ireland. They are in Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Mullingar and Waterford.If you are in Limerick, please call 112 or 999 to access a different out-of-hours service that can help you. This service provides forensic examinations also.


South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital.

Phone: 021 492 6297 weekdays from 8am to 4.30pm.Phone: 021 492 6100 weekends and after 4.30pm, ask for SATU.

Donegal SATU

Justice Walsh Road, Letterkenny.Phone: 087 06 81 964 at any time. This is a direct line to SATU.

Dublin SATU

Rotunda Hospital Campus.Phone: 01 817 1736 weekdays from 8am to 5pm. Phone: 01 817 1700 after 5pm and weekends, ask for SATU.

 Galway SATU

Phone: 091 76 57 51 or 087 63 38 118 weekdays from 8am to 4pm.Phone: 091 75 76 31 or 091 524222 after 4pm and weekends, ask for SATU.

Mullingar SATU

Midland Regional Hospital.Phone: 044 939 4239 or 086 04 09 952 weekdays from 8am to 5pm.Phone: 044 934 0221 after 5pm and weekends, ask for SATU.

Waterford SATU

University Hospital Waterford.Phone: 051 842 157 weekdays from 8am to 5pm. Phone: 051 848 000 after 5pm and weekends, ask for SATU.

%d bloggers like this: