Third-Level Students Facing 'E...

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Third-Level Students Facing 'Epidemic Of Sexual Violence'

Newsroom
Newsroom

3:28 PM - 2 Aug 2020



Third-level students reported 35 sexual assaults to their colleges and universities between 2018 and 2020.

However, the executive director of the Rape Crisis Network believes this does not reflect the true crisis of sexual violence and harassment experienced by students across the institutions.

According to the Sunday Times, IT Sligo received 20 reports, UCD had 12 complaints while Trinity College picked up just one report.

A number of other colleges and universities declined to comment on reports they received.

Earlier this year, nine colleges across the country including Trinity and NUIG signed up to an €80,000 online system that will allow students to make anonymous reports of sexual assault and harassment.

Additionally, last year the Framework for Consent in Higher Education Institutions was launched with the aim of ensuring a safe, respectful and supportive campus.

A recent survey of 6,000 people found that one in three female third-level students and one in eight males claim they were raped in college.

Dr Cliona Sadlier from the Rape Crisis Network believes many incidents still aren't being reported.

She said: "So, what we are seeing here is two things. One is that students aren't engaging with the institutions, and secondly, the institutions aren't demonstrating a uniform way of recording and understanding the formal complaints that have come into them."

"35 doesn't reflect, at all, the crisis and the epidemic of sexual violence and sexual harassment that is being experienced by students right now across our institutions.

Dr Sadlier thinks there should be a more uniform approach to dealing with reports of sexual assault by now.

She said: "This is a year after the Framework for Consent became an obligation for higher education institutions.

"We're looking at differences across institutions that really should have been ironed out by now."

If you need professional support, you can contact the 24-hour helpline run by the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre at 1800 778888.

Main image: File photo posed by model. Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire



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