TUS launch online reporting tool to help victims of abuse, violence and harrassment

At the launch of Speak Out in the Moylish campus were; President of TUS Students Union Áine Daly, President of TUS Professor Vincent Cunnane and Noreen Keane, Head of Student Counselling TUS Midwest Campuses. Photo courtesy of TUS.

TUS with campuses in Thurles and Clonmel have launched an online reporting tool to help victims of abuse, violence or harrassment.

Speak Out has been designed to give supports and act as a first step before someone brings a complaint down official Garda channels.

It will give both students and staff the opportunity to report incidents in a safe and anonymous way.

Head of Student Counselling for TUS, Noreen Keane told Tipp FM that this will be a great tool for everyone in the TUS community.

“A tool to enable people to report any incidence of sexual violence, abuse, bullying, coercive behaviour, harrassment etc.

“The beauty of this is that it’s an anonymous reporting tool, and it’s something that will allow people to have a voice and report in a safe way versus I suppose going down the formal route.”

Speak Out is an online, anonymous reporting platform for incidents of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, discrimination, hate crime, coercive behaviour/control, stalking, assault, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape.

The newly launched tool is part of a national approach to tackling these issues by raising awareness, providing support and providing a means of recording instances.

Launching Speak Out across all six TUS campuses, President of TUS Professor Vincent Cunnane said; “Speak out will allow us, as TUS, to understand staff and student experiences of harassment and violence.

“It will be crucial in assisting us in making evidence-based policy decisions in this very important area.

“A key role of Speak Out is to help raise awareness of supports available to students and staff, and to encourage them to seek help if needed.

“It is a further step in delivering on our commitments within the Framework for Consent in Higher Education Institutions and to providing a safe, respectful and supportive culture across all our campuses.”

Noreen Keane, Head of Student Counselling TUS Midwest Campuses said, “This tool provides an anonymous trauma informed platform for survivors to report incidents of harassment, sexual violence, bullying and coercive behaviour.

“It is the starting point as initially many are hesitant to formerly report an incident. This tool removes that barrier by virtue of its anonymity and encourages both students and staff to speak out and have their experience validated.”

President of TUS Students Union Áine Daly said, “This is a platform that students can trust, that gives them the opportunity to have their voices heard anonymously and seek the support they need. It will also contribute to making our tomorrow better with data collection for statistics, with the hope in the future these tools won’t have to exist, and that we can be kind and respectful of one another.”

The Speak Out project, led by the Psychological Counsellors in Higher Education Ireland (PCHEI) and funded by the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, is being rolled out across 18 higher education institutions throughout this academic year.

The online tool went live for all six TUS campuses this Monday through the website tus.ie and the staff and student portals.

This project, has been funded by the HEA Centre of Excellence for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, and underpins an ethos of cross institutional collaboration in response to such incidences within higher education institutions.