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SATU (Sexual Assault Treatment Unit)

The Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) was established in 1985, and was the first dedicated unit of its kind in Europe. It has gained international recognition as a centre of excellence, based on the extensive expertise that the unit holds in the medical and forensic treatment of those who have been subject to sexual crime and also in recognition of the training programmes, both basic and advanced, that are facilitated by the unit.

In 2005, the difficulties in providing a high quality service for victims of sexual assault were appreciated by then Health Minister, Mary Harney TD. A National Steering Committee on Violence Against Women was set up and a review of sexual assault treatment services was funded. This was undertaken jointly with the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The review was published in 2006, and in early 2007 a presentation of the recommendations was made to the Minster of Health by staff of SATU. Following this, implementation of the recommendations commenced.

The philosophy


  • To provide an easily accessible, holistic service for victims of sexual crime by addressing medical, psychological and emotional needs while being cognisant of the place of forensic examination to aid the legal process.
  • To provide all treatment in a non-judgemental manner, conveying that the patient is not responsible for the alleged assault. 
  • To continue to promote the development and progression of national services for men and women who have been sexually assaulted by a close involvement with RCNI, An Garda Siochana and forensic laboratory services. 
  • To develop, promote and provide postgraduate education programmes for doctors, midwives and nurses to ensure that highest quality care is provided at all times.

Location & facilities

SATU is located at the Rotunda Hospital, and the new examination suite is in the hospital's Colposcopy Unit. There are separate private areas for interviews with the patient, physical and forensic examination as well as bathroom and shower facilities.

The staff

Patricia O'Connor is Clinical Midwife Manager for the unit. Aideen Walsh, Catherine Hallahan and Deirdra Richardson are the Clinical Nurse/Midwife Specialists. Rita O’Connor has the administrative responsibilities. Dr Maeve Eogan is clinical director of the Rotunda SATU and the national SATU services. Other medical and midwifery/nursing staff also assist with the out-of-hours service.

Members of the SATU team

Contact details

Tel. : 01-817 1736
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(9.00am - 4.30pm, Monday - Friday)
To make contact outside of these hours, please telephone the Rotunda Hospital at 01-817 1700.

Children's service

The SATU at The Rotunda Hospital offers services for men and women over the age of 14 years. Children aged less than 14 years are generally seen in the emergency departments of the childrens' hospitals.

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