Sexual consent support hub set up for third-level students from autumn

Digital hub aims to improve awareness and understanding on university campuses

The hub will go live during the coming academic year, with further elements rolled out in 2022. Photograph: iStock

The hub will go live during the coming academic year, with further elements rolled out in 2022. Photograph: iStock

 

A new online sexual consent support hub will be available for third-level students and staff when the new academic year begins in the autumn.

The digital hub aims to improve sexual consent awareness and understanding on university campuses in Ireland. It will contain material including eLearning resources on consent, video series and training resources for advocates and young people.

Topics covered will include consent, sexual violence and harassment and training on culture change, awareness-raising and disclosures. The hub will be a publicly-available resource.

The website was launched by Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton at the National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG) on Monday.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Harris said people need to be “safe, empowered, confident and capable in their relationships and Ireland can take a leading role in confronting sexual violence and harassment.”

“No part of society is untouched by sexual violence and harassment,” he said, adding that the online learning hub will provide “an important resource” for higher education institutions and for a wider community.

“We must improve people’s understanding of what consent is, and what healthy consent looks like. This initiative will be an excellent resource for the third-level sector and beyond,” Minister Naughton said at the launch.

The Department of Justice will fund the Active Consent research team at NUI Galway to create the online learning hub, and is partnering with the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science on the initiative.

The hub will go live during the coming academic year, with further elements rolled out in 2022.

NUI Galway president, Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, said the university was “delighted” to partner on the initiative.

“By championing respect and openness through initiatives such as the Consent Information Hub, we can have a profound and sustainable transformative impact on society,” he said.