A national survey is to be carried out which examines the prevalence of sexual violence in Ireland.

In a statement, the Department of Justice said that the survey will examine in detail the experience of women and men of sexual violence, and ensure that policy is "better informed by contemporary and robust data".

The survey is to be carried out by the Central Statistics Office, and will be completed by 2023.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the department and the CSO has been signed which, the department says, provides a framework within which the study will take place.

The survey is due to be repeated every ten years in order to see how sexual violence in Ireland is changing over time.

Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said: "My priority in relation to this survey is not just getting it done. Because we are dealing with the lives and experiences of real people, my priority has to be getting it done right. To ensure that it is done right first time, resources and time are needed. And I am providing for both.

"The CSO with its expertise, integrity and independence are, without doubt, our best option for undertaking this work both now and into the future and my Department looks forward to our ongoing engagement with the CSO throughout the lifetime of this project."