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Tuesday, 19th October 2021

DkIT to use new anonymous system of reporting bullying and harassment

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The DkIT campus.

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) has today announced its support for and participation in a new online anonymous reporting system called Speak Out which enables students and others to report incidents of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, discrimination, hate crime, coercive behaviour/control, stalking, assault, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape.

Launching Speak Out today (Tuesday) the Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD said it is an “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.”

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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 including DkIT 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 the 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.

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