WIT welcomes the launch of Speak Out – an online and anonymous tool for students and staff to report violence and sexual harassment across HEI’s
Waterford Institute of Technology has today welcomed the launch of Speak Out - the Anonymous Violence and Harassment Reporting Tool for higher education institutions.
Speak Out is an online and anonymous reporting platform for incidents of bullying, cyberbullying, harassment, discrimination, hate crime, coercive behaviour/control, stalking, assault, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. It is an anonymous trauma informed tool available to staff and students across WIT, which will provide users with support services relevant to their experience. The data collected through this tool will be used to inform policy and targeted educational initiatives, both at WIT and nationally.
Move to zero-tolerance culture
Dr Allison Kenneally, Vice President for Equality, Diversity & Inclusion said: “I am delighted to see the Speak Out tool go live in WIT. Speak Out provides an anonymous, safe and supportive medium for students and staff to report incidents of bullying, assault or sexual violence in a trauma-informed environment and offers tailored supports for users. The launch of Speak Out, will help raise awareness of sexual harassment and violence, and provide a means of recording instances, which will assist us in creating a zero-tolerance culture in WIT.”
Ann-Marie Quigley, Psychologist/Clinical Lead, WIT Student Counselling Service said “The launch of Speak Out in WIT is a significant step forward in supporting all members of our community who have experienced any form of bullying, harassment, assault or sexual violence; and in providing a safe, inclusive way for people to report their experiences.”
The 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, will be rolled out across 18 higher education institutions throughout this academic year for students, staff and visitors.
Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD launching Speak Out said: “I am delighted today to launch this incredibly important initiative. The creation of this innovative and supportive online platform will provide a safe and anonymous medium for students and staff to report incidents of bullying, assault or sexual violence in a trauma-informed environment.
“These are issues that my Department is acutely aware of, and I’m delighted we could provide funding for this vital project.
“Speak Out represents a national approach to tackling these issues by raising awareness, and by providing a means of recording instances, which will assist in achieving a zero-tolerance culture.”
The WIT Speak Out tool is available at: wit.speakout.ie.