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We need a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment and violence in Third Level Education

Published: Wednesday, April 05, 2017

• Over 30 per cent of students in Ireland reported feeling sexually harassed or intimidated while in their current educational institution.
• 16 per cent of students having experienced some form of unwanted sexual experience .

The National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) is delighted to announce the launch of the ‘It Stops Now,’ Campaign. At the launch, the importance of building a culture of zero tolerance of sexual harassment and violence in third level institutions was highlighted.

Participating institutions in Ireland include Dublin City University, University of Limerick, University College Cork, University College Dublin, Institute of Art, Design & Technology-IADT and Dundalk Institute of Technology.

Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI said,
“There is a high prevalence of sexual harassment and violence experienced by women in third level education. We know that third level education can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences in a person’s life, but unfortunately sexual harassment and violence is an issue that too many women are forced to contend with. We need a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment and violence in our third level institutions.” 

“Sexual harassment and violence reinforces women’s inequality and violates women’s dignity. It can prevent women’s participation in college life, and put their safety at risk. Sexual harassment is more prevalent against women from marginalised groups, such as migrant women and women with disabilities. This will be a particular focus of “It Stops Now.”

Orla O’Connor said,
“Through the ‘It Stops Now,’ Campaign, NWCI together with our partners and associate partners will work to prevent and combat sexual violence and harassment in third level education, and build a culture of zero tolerance in third level institutions across Europe.  “It Stops Now” will develop a strong policy framework driving clear reporting and disclosure mechanisms, resourcing strong support services and ensuring long-term, sustainable interventions and institutional change. ”

Speakers include:
• Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI
• Síona Cahill, Union of Students in Ireland
• Philip McCormack from Cosc
• Dr. Louise Crowley, University College Cork 
• Jennifer McCarthy Flynn, ESHTE Project Co-ordinator, NWCI

WHAT: ‘It Stops Now,’ Campaign Launch – ESHTE Project
WHEN: Wednesday, 5th April 2017, 10am – 12pm
WHERE: President’s Hall, The Law Society of Ireland, Blackhall Place, Dublin 7. 

For more information about the event please contact Sarah Clarkin, Communications Officer, 085 8519087

Notes to the Editor:

NWCI is the lead co-ordinator of the ESHTE project with Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS) in Cyprus, Rape Crisis Scotland (RCS), The Women’s Issues Information Centre (WIIC) in Lithuania, and The Women’s Equality Commissioner, Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich in Germany. 

Each project partner is working with higher education institutions, both staff and students, statutory agencies and NGO’s focused on combatting sexual violence and harassment against women.  NWCI will facilitate a National Advisory Committee to support the development of project outputs and their dissemination.

The project is informed by research from across the EU which has reported the high prevalence of sexual harassment and violence experienced by young women in third level institutions

It Stops Now is funded by the European Union.