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Monday, 1st March 2021

New DkIT campaign to promote consent and prevent sexual violence

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VP for Academic Affairs & Registrar at DkIT, Dr Sheila Flanagan (left) and Head of Counselling at DkIT & Campaign Lead, Gertie Raftery who have launched a new Institute-wide Awareness Campaign Promoting Consent and Preventing Sexual Violence.

Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) has announced details of a new institute-wide awareness campaign aimed at promoting a safe, respectful, and supportive work and study environment for all members of the DkIT community.

The campaign is targeted at both staff and students, and supports a recent directive by Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Mr Simon Harris, TD to make the Framework for Consent in Higher Education Institutes a priority over the coming year.

As part of the initiative, DkIT will introduce a detailed programme of engagement, training and supports for staff and students that aims to inform and create meaningful discussion around the topics of consent and gender-based violence.

The institute has established a new Promoting Consent and & Preventing Sexual Violence (PCPSV) Steering Group which will oversee the development and implementation of the new programme.

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This group comprises representatives from students and staff at various levels in addition to external experts from the Technological Higher Education Association (THEA), Rape Crisis North East and the Garda Inspectorate within the region.

Key priorities for the steering group include:

  1. Launching an awareness raising campaign for staff and students using video material from Smart Consent starting on March 1st
  2. Ongoing communications campaign throughout the year to disseminate information and create discussion to staff and students
  3. Developing of an institute-wide Sexual Misconduct Policy
  4. Implementation of a new anonymous reporting tool to be implemented for staff and students to report any incidences of sexual harassment and violence and get access to relevant support

Speaking at the launch today, Vice President for Academic Affairs & Registrar, Dr Sheila Flanagan said,

“We are delighted to launch our new awareness campaign today promoting consent and the prevention sexual violence within our campus community and we welcome the prioritisation of this issue by the Minister.

We firmly believe that education and support for people of all ages is vital if we are to make lasting change for society. We are confident that our institute-wide programme will create a safer, respectful and more supportive environment for DkIT students and staff alike and one that is free from sexual harassment and violence of any kind. 

I would like to commend the new PCPSV Steering Group at DkIT for the excellent work that they have carried out to date and their continued commitment for driving lasting impact around this important issue across our campus and beyond.”

Also speaking at the launch today, Head of Counselling at DkIT, PCPSV Steering Group Gertie Raftery said,

Research shows that the issue of gender-based violence is not confined to students or young people but rather a societal one and if we wish to see meaningful cultural change, we need to address the issue as a whole. It is for this reason that we have adopted a whole institute approach to promoting consent and sexual violence.

Staff and students will be encouraged to engage in training opportunities in this area and our campaign seeks to inform people of all ages, creeds and background. Through our programme, we are asking our DkIT community to embrace change on all levels, to work together to meet the needs of those affected by sexual violence and harassment, and to promote a culture of positive, active consent consistent with healthy societies.”

As part of its campaign, the institute will soon launch a new microsite which will house important information and resources for staff and students on the area of promoting consent and the prevention of sexual violence. For more information about this campaign, please contact Gertie.Raftery@dkit.ie.

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