Pictured (from left): Manus O’Callaghan, awards organiser; Niamh Lehane, Lexus Cork; Mary Crilly, Cork Person of the Month; Ann-Marie O’Sullivan, AM O’Sullivan PR; Pat Lemasney, Southern. Photo: Tony O’Connell Photography.

For 35 years, Mary Crilly has been to the fore in helping the victims of sexual violence in Cork. This week she received the March Cork Person of the Month award to mark her invaluable work since March 1983.

She was the first person in Cork to introduce counselling and support to women, men and teenagers who have experienced sexual violence or child sexual abuse. Through the Sexual Violence Centre in Cork city, she and her team also engage in research, provide training and education and work with government, statutory and voluntary agencies in order to influence social policy.

The services to the survivors of rape and sexual assault are free of charge and provided by highly experienced professional staff.

“We acknowledge the courage it takes to make the first phone call to the Centre at 1800 496 496 or to visit us at 5 Camden Place, Cork City,” said Mary Crilly.

As the Director of the Cork Sexual Violence Centre Mary is calling for separate courts to fast track sexual assaults and rape cases. She is calling for mandatory sentences. She is calling for a commitment by An Garda Síochána to prioritise investigations into child sexual abuse, where digital technology is a factor.

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