Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) this week has introduced a new anonymous reporting tool called ‘Speak Out’ for staff and students.
The online and anonymous reporting platform allows members of LYIT’s community to report in a safe and confidential manner any incidents of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, discrimination, hate crime, coercive behaviour/control, stalking, assault, sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape.
This is part of a national initiative launched recently by Mr Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.
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 will be used to inform policy and targeted educational initiatives and provide users with support services relevant to their experience. The online tool was circulated to all staff and students in LYIT via email on 16 February 2022 following the national launch by Minister Harris.
Paul Hannigan, LYIT President says: “This reporting tool will inform and assist us in making evidence-based policy decisions and enhance supports available to staff and students as part of implementation of our commitments under the Consent Framework in Higher Education Institutions”.
LYIT Students Union President, Adam O’Flaherty says: “The Students’ Union welcomes the introduction of Speak Out Online Anonymous Reporting Tool. We encourage students who may find themselves victim to any of the issues covered in the reporting tool to avail of the service, safe in the knowledge that their report is completely anonymous. By reaching out, there are a number of supports available to you, you are raising awareness for others and you are contributing to ending many of these issues in the 3rd level education setting”.
The initiative is led by the Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI) and funded by Minister Harris’ department. It is being rolled out across 18 higher education institutions throughout this academic year for students, staff and visitors.
For more information visit https://www.lyit.ie/About/Policies-Publications-Standards/Equality-Diversity-Inclusion/Consent-Framework#5