27 Nov 2021

TUS launches online harassment and violence reporting tool

TUS launches online harassment and violence reporting tool

At the launch 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 Campus

THE TECHNOLOGICAL University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS) have launched an online violence and harrassment reporting tool for students and staff. 

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

The Speak Out project will be rolled out across 18 higher education institutions throughout the academic year and has already  gone live on six campuses.

The trauma informed tool will also provide users with support services relevant to their experiences.

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.” 

Treasa Fox, Head of Student Counselling Midlands Campus added, "The Speak Out launch today marks a culture shift on TUS campuses. 

"From today, students and staff can make an anonymous report of any experiences of bullying, cyberbullying, sexual harassment, assault, or rape in a safe way.

"We in student counselling services have long recognised that an important first step in healing from trauma is to say what has happened to you in a safe way."

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.”

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