There was a 30% increase in the number of first time callers to the Rape Crisis Centre's National 24-Hour Helpline last year.

The Centre's annual report for 2014 also shows an increase of 14% in calls relating to adult rape.

Almost half of all calls related to childhood sexual abuse, including ritual abuse and suspected abuse.

The Centre also reports a steady year-on-year increase in men using the helpline - up to 24% last year from 14% seven years ago.

Minister for Justice and Equality Frances Fitzgerald published the report this morning at the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre. 

Speaking on RTÉ's Today with Sean O' Rourke, DRCC Chief Executive Ellen O'Malley-Dunlop said she was pleased that more people were coming forward, especially those who had been the victims of assault within an intimate relationship.

“People feel very shamed when something like this happens to them, particularly with somebody whom they are in a relationship with, obviously, you can appreciate that, how much more shameful it is, that they feel violated by somebody that they trust and of course we do know that, contrary to popular belief, that rape is perpetrated on another by a stranger.

"Sadly it very often happens, and more often happens, by somebody who is known to the victim," she said.