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06 Dec 2021

Louth Senator welcomes launch of Speak Out

Louth Senator welcomes launch of Speak Out

Senator Erin McGreehan

Louth Fianna Fáil Senator Erin McGreehan has welcomed the launch of Speak Out - the anonymous violence and harassment reporting tool for higher education institutions. 

Speak Out is an online and anonymous reporting platform for incidents of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, discrimination, hate crime, coercive behaviour/control, stalking, assault, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. 

Senator McGreehan said: “I welcome the launch of 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. 

“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 project, led by the Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI), and funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, will be rolled out across 18 higher education institutions throughout this academic year for students, staff and visitors. 

The 2019 Framework for Consent in Higher Education Institutions: Safe, Respectful, Supportive and Positive – Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment in Irish Higher Education Institutions outlined the need for data to be collected on the incidence rates of sexual harassment and violence across our higher education sector. 

The data collected through this tool will be used to inform policy and targeted educational initiatives. It is the goal of PCHEI to provide a trauma informed tool which will provide users with support services relevant to their experience. 

This project, which has been supported by the HEA Centre of Excellence for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, is a ground-breaking initiative which is underpinned by an ethos of cross-institutional collaboration in response to such incidences within higher education institutions. 

 An online anonymous reporting tool – Report and Support – is already in operation in University College Dublin, and UCD staff and students can access this here https://reportandsupport. ucd.ie/ 

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