Sexual consent classes to be offered to third-level students

Measures mean colleges will have to bring in mechanisms for anonymous reporting of harassment

Third-level institutions will have to create a dedicated website detailing their approach to preventing sexual violence and harassment under plans to be announced by the Government today.

Third-level institutions will have to create a dedicated website detailing their approach to preventing sexual violence and harassment under plans to be announced by the Government today.

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Classes on sexual consent are to be offered to third-level students and colleges will in future have to put in place new mechanisms for the anonymous reporting of sexual harassment.

Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris will on Monday announce a new plan that will see colleges commit to offering consent classes as well as specialised training for staff in dealing with harassment complaints.

As part of the plans, colleges will be asked from now on to examine their institutional culture and select a member of senior management who will have responsibility for monitoring this area.

Third-level institutions will have to create a dedicated website detailing their approach to preventing sexual violence and harassment. They will also have to establish a senior group to further examine what moves can be taken to address the problem. Colleges will also be asked to make available and monitor a tool for anonymous reporting.

First year students will be invited to educational workshops on the topic of consent, and these will later be made available to older students. Institutions will also be asked to provide “disclosure training” for key staff and student leaders.

A survey by the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) of 6,000 people last year found almost 30 per cent of female college students said they had experienced non-consensual sexual penetration.

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