#ItStopsNow Campaign

The #ItStopsNow campaign is a student-led campaign, initiated by the National Women’s Council, which aims to tackle sexual violence and harassment faced by third level students. 

#ItStopsNow has three key goals: 

  • Raising awareness of issues of sexual violence and harrassment in third-institutions in Ireland and of how these impact students in general, but women students and those from marginalised groups in particular, such as women from ethnic minotities, students with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ+ community

  • Inclusion of a broad range of students who experience sexual violence and harrassment, challenging gender inequality, stereotyping and rape myths which contribute to a culture of sexual violence and harrassment - often referred to as ‘rape culture’. 
  • Encouraging students to actively participate in creating a culture of zero tolerance to sexual violence and harrassment, providing information and resources to give individuals the tools to lead and take responsibility for cultural change. 

We would like to thank all the Student Unions and the USI, who supported the development of this campaign


#ItStopsNow calls on all students and campus communities to: 

1. Believe and Support Survivors 

Disclosing an incident of sexual violence and harassment can be extremely difficult. As well as feelings of fear and distress, or holding an expectation that little can be done, survivors often face victim-blaming attitudes, all of which contribute to significant under-reporting. As friends, families, colleagues and classmates, when a survivor speaks out, we need to meet them with understanding, belief and support. 

Students who wish to anonymously report a disclosure of sexual violence can do so using the Speak Out Tool. Or at UCD use Report + Support - University College Dublin

2. Don’t stand by, Speak Up! 

Sexual assault doesn’t exist in a vacuum: wolf-whistling, catcalling, sexist jokes, ‘slut shaming’ and more lay the foundations of a sexual violence culture. Women have been at the vanguard in the fight against this culture, but now it’s time for others to join us in creating a safe and equal society: each of us has a responsibility to not participate in these behaviours and to call out those that do. We all must also actively include marginalised groups in the process of change. 

Women with disabilities are three times more likely to experience physical or sexual violence, with ethnic minority or migrant women also experiencing higher prevalence rates.

Calling out rape jokes, misigony, racism and abelism when we see it, and letting people know that it is not a behaviour we accept in our community is a great step forwards in ending our cultural tolerance for sexual violence. 

3. Before you do it, say it, or post it, check if they consent

Consent should be ongoing, mutual, voluntary and enthusiastic. It extends beyond physical and verbal behaviours to online spaces as well.

Online sexual harassment is an increasingly prevalent issue for young students, with toxic behaviours becoming minimised and normalised in society.. Understanding and acting on genuine consent is therefore key to ending the culture of sexual violence and harassment.



It Stops Now Toolkit 

The It Stops Now toolkit is a one stop resource for higher education institutes to develop a zero tolerance approach to sexual violence and harassment on campus. The toolkit makes the case for leadership at the highest management level of higher education institutes. It emphasises the need to invest in comprehensive training for staff and to ensure strong collaborations with external partners, and it outlines the important role that student bodies have in reaching out to the student population on this issue.

Campaign Implementation Pack 

Campaign Mural Installation 

Further information on responding to disclosures of sexual violence 

  • Call the Rape Crisis National 24 Hour Helpline: 1800 778888 
  • Call the Women's Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline: 1800 341 900
  • Contact the Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU). There are six Sexual Assault Treatment Units (SATUs) in Ireland. They provide specialist care for women and men aged fourteen years and over who have recently been sexually assaulted or raped. This care is free, and does not affect your residency status. If you have been raped or sexually assaulted, it’s very important that you attend a SATU as soon as you can, ideally before washing or changing your clothes. You can bring a friend or family member to a SATU with you to provide support. To find your nearest Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU) click here 
  • An Garda Síochána: If you require emergency assistance please contact An Garda Síochána on 112 or 999 immediately.   

Northern Ireland 

  • Free Phone the Domestic & Sexual Violence Helpline: 0808 802 1414. This Helpline is open seven days a week. The helpline also responds and supports victims of sexual violence as well as domestic violence. 
  • Contact Nexus NI. Nexus NI works across Northern Ireland to respond to the needs of people aged 16 and over who have experienced sexual abuse and may benefit from specialist counselling for survivors of sexual abuse/ violence. To find your nearest Nexus NI Office click here
  • Call Police Service Northern Ireland (PSNI): 0845 600 8000. If you require emergency assistance please contact PSNI on 999 immediately.    

It Stops Now was developed as part of the European Ending Sexual Violence and Harassment in Third Level Education (ESHTE) project and is supported by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.