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Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU)

The Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) in Galway is a service available for people who have experienced rape or sexual assault.

We are currently updating information on SATU. In the meantime, please download our flyer here for more detailed information. Alternatively you can telephone our office in Galway at 091-765751 (Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 16:30).

The address is:
Willow Centre/Hazel Clinic,
Sexual Assault Treatment Unit Galway,
Faustina House,
IDA Small Business Centre,
Tuam Road,
Galway H91 VW84  

Referral Criteria for the Child and Adolescent Sexual Assault Treatment Service (CASATS) West and Mid West Ireland

The following children can be referred to the CASATS:
1.    Children under 18 years for historical sexual abuse (historical abuse is abuse that is thought to have occurred more than 1 week previously)
2.    Children under 14 years for acute and historical sexual abuse

The CASATS accepts referrals in relation to children resident in Counties served by the Saolta Hospitals Group including children from Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary.

All children referred to CASATS must be referred to or engaged with TUSLA (Child Protection Social Work Team) unless there is a clear decision, as agreed with the examining Forensic Physician, why this should not happen. The standard TUSLA referral form should be completed by the referrer prior to child’s attendance at CASATS:

This referral is usually urgent. Best practice is to refer to TUSLA by phone, speaking to the Duty Social Worker, and follow up in writing using the referral form above.

An Garda Siochana should be contacted directly if there are immediate concerns as to a child’s safety.

The following categories of referral are considered: 
1.    A child who has made an allegation about sexual abuse 
2.    Where sexual abuse of a child has been witnessed
3.    Where there is a strong suspicion that child sexual abuse may have occurred but the child has not made a clear disclosure nor was abuse witnessed. In these cases decisions to examine should be made on a case by case basis: if in doubt a discussion should take place between the referring party, the forensic physician and/or paediatrician, TUSLA, and carer if carer is not the alleged perpetrator. 

The following scenarios should be considered for referral:
•    Sexually Transmitted Infection 
•    Pregnancy                 
•    Siblings exposed to identical risk factors for sexual abuse     
•    Sexualised behaviour when considered to be in excess of age appropriate sexual exploration             
•    Anogenital warts (especially in older children > 4 years)
•    Anogenital bleeding where no reasonable medical explanation has been identified and there are other concerning features in the medical or social history                 
•    Chronic vaginal discharge where there are other concerning features in medical or social history                     
•    Soiling/encopresis/incontinence where there are other concerning features in medical or social history 

Contact Details
During working hours CASATS can be accessed by telephone to the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit Galway: 0876338118/ 091765751
Out of hours, CASATS can be accessed through University Hospital Galway Switchboard, requesting the CASATS Forensic Physician on call: 091544000

CASATS is not an appropriate service for children where physical and/or emotional abuse is suspected in the absence of any significant concerns as to possible sexual abuse. Such children should be referred directly to the local Paediatric service and TUSLA. In cases of suspected physical abuse the local hospital consultant on call should be contacted immediately for urgent assessment. 
The Emergency Department is not a suitable environment for non-acute assessment of child abuse unless the child has urgent medical needs (e.g. bleeding/acute severe injury/burns/suspected fractures).  Every effort should be made to liaise with the Paediatric Forensic Physician on call, for cases of Child Sexual Abuse, or with the local Paediatric Consultant on call, for other forms of abuse, who should arrange an appropriate time and venue for comprehensive assessment in privacy as indicated.  

In all cases the child’s safety is paramount and must be assured and needs of siblings or co-habiting children must be addressed. 

These referral criteria are based upon the following best practice guidelines:
1.    Service Specification for the Clinical Evaluation of Children and Young people who may have been sexually abused: up to 18 years. Sept 2015: RCPCH/ FFLM 
2.    Guidelines on Paediatric Forensic Examinations in Relation to Possible Child Sexual Abuse; FFLM, Oct 2012
3.    Child Protection Companion RCPCH 2013

CASATS Governance Team: 08/12/2016    Due for revision: 08/12/2020