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Online tool for college students and staff to anonymously report sexual assault launches

An online tool that allows students and staff to report sexual assault in higher education institutions launched in Ireland today.

‘Speak Out’ is a platform that allows college students and members of staff to anonymously report incidents including bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, discrimination, hate crime, coercive behaviour or control, stalking, assault, sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape.

The project, which is being lead by the Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI) and funded by Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, will be rolled out across 18 higher education institutions throughout this academic year.

Minister Simon Harris said: “I am delighted today to launch this incredibly important initiative. The creation of this innovative and supportive online platform will provide a safe and anonymous medium for students and staff to report incidents of bullying, assault or sexual violence in a trauma-informed environment.”

“These are issues that my department is acutely aware of, and I’m delighted we could provide funding for this vital project.

“Speak Out represents a national approach to tackling these issues by raising awareness, and by providing a means of recording instances, which will assist in achieving a zero-tolerance culture.”

The institutions rolling out this online tool include Carlow Institute of Technology, Dublin City University, Dundalk Institute of Technology, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Institute of Art, Design and Technology, Institute of Technology Sligo, Munster Technological University, Maynooth University, NUI Galway, Royal College of Surgeons, Technological University Dublin, Technological University of the Shannon, University of Limerick and Waterford Institute of Technology.

Letterkenny Institute of Technology, the National College of Art and Design, Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork will launch the portal later this year.

Each institution is set to have its own URL to access the online system which can be used by students, staff and visitors, and they will then be given a detailed account of what the tool is and a list of supports that are offered.


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