Sexual assault reporting system
Nine colleges across the country have signed up to an online reporting system for sexual assault.
Firstly, the new service will allow victims of assault and harassment to report their cases anonymously.
The aim is to provide a space for people to feel comfortable in coming forward, and to collect accurate data.
The Department of Education and Skills has awarded €80,000 in funding towards the development of an online reporting tool.
The nine institutions participating in the project are:
- Dundalk Institute of Technology
- Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology
- Institute of Technology Sligo
- Letterkenny Institute of Technology
- Limerick Institute of Technology
- Maynooth University
- Trinity College Dublin
- University of Limerick
Data obtained via the tool will also be used to understand the current climate of sexual misconduct among college students.
USI supported the application, and have warmly welcomed the funding for the reporting tool.
Lorna Fitzpatrick, USI President, said:
“This project will help us hear directly from students who have been affected by sexual harassment and assault while studying in third-level."
"This reporting tool includes a feature to allow for anonymous reporting which is crucial, as we know from the Say Something Survey conducted by USI in 2013 that only 3% of students reported incidents of sexual harassment or assault to the Gardaí."
"We look forward to continuing to support this project with PCHEI to ensure students can report in a safe and confidential manner.”
Rachel Skelly, Graduate Intern for Sexual Consent Education and Development, Trinity, also said:
“The development of this project is incredibly exciting as it will allow for the collection of meaningful data on the incidence of sexual misconduct in nine Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)."
"The HEIs involved in the project vary in size across both urban and rural areas."
"This data, which represents our college community’s experiences, will be used to direct our educational campaigns and our policy."
"This project has given us a wonderful opportunity to make real changes to the lives of our staff and students, both now and in the future.”
Gertie Raftery, Chairperson of PCHEI, DKIT also added:
“We are delighted to get this funding to enable us to finally get some real data on the extent of the problem of sexual harassment and violence in third level institutions."
"It will, we hope, give a voice to the voiceless and allow us to target initiatives so that we can all provide a safe, supportive living and learning environment for all our students and staff.”