Dundalk Institute of Technology are one of nine third level institutions nationwide to sign up for a new online system which will allow students to report cases of sexual assault and harassment.
According to the Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland, who have developed the new online system, the new service will be up and running in DkIT by the start of the new academic year.
Students will be able to anonymously report instances of sexual assault or harassment via a form, available to access on each colleges website.
The aim, the PCHEI say, is to provide a space for people to feel comfortable in coming forward and also to collect accurate data. “It’s not just for our own work, it’s also for the people who have been victims,” Gerti Rafferty, chairperson explained. “Often they feel voiceless, they don’t feel that there is any hope, they don’t want to get into a very complicated system of reporting.”
As well as DkIT, the other colleges set to use the new system from the outset are: Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Sligo, Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Limerick Institute of Technology, Maynooth University, NUI Galway, Trinity College Dublin and University of Limerick.
The PCHEI hope that after the launch, other colleges will follow suit in using the system. The scheme is funded by the Department of Education.