Student movement must be at the forefront of addressing the epidemic of sexual violence and harassment in education
Students and the student movement must be at the forefront of addressing the epidemic of sexual violence and harassment in education according to Labour Spokesperson on Further and Higher Education, Senator Annie Hoey.
Hoey was speaking after Minister Simon Harris met the national advisory committee on sexual harassment and violence in third-level education to set out his intentions to tackle issues around consent and sexual harassment at third level.
Senator Hoey said:
“I would broadly welcome the new Ministers focus on addressing the epidemic of sexual violence and harassment in education. As a former President of the USI, I am proud of the role played by the student movement in conducting and compiling this important survey into sexual harassment in third level institutions.
“The findings of this report are stark, with a third of female students reporting having been raped and I’m glad that the Minister realises the scale of the problem of sexual harassment at third level and has committed to take substantive action.
“The Minister needs to insure that the voices of students and the student movement are central to this and that there is transparency and confidence around the disclosure structures.
“There is also a need to bridge consent education between 2nd and 3rd level so that incoming students are given the language to engage in consensual relationships
“It is clear from the findings of the USI survey, that there is a frightening level of sexual harassment taking place on third level campuses around the country and I’m relieved to here that Minister Harris has committed to addressing this.
“However, the voice of students and the students movement needs to be at the fore and students themselves must have confidence in the reporting process.
“The success of this new initiative will be measured by its continued engagement with students and the student movement who have led on this issue.”