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Students need to feel confident in system when reporting abuse to higher education institutions

Anne Scott


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The Union of Students in Ireland and the Active* Consent Programme at NUI Galway completed a Sexual Experiences Survey of over 6,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students across Irish higher education in 2020. The findings were stark and shocking.

The survey showed 52pc of females had been subjected to unwanted sexual touching, attempted or completed penetration since they had started in college. The comparative percentage for males was 27pc. Almost 50pc of non-binary individuals had experienced unwanted sexual misconduct while in college.

The students surveyed reported varying perpetrator tactics: 39pc of females surveyed reported acts of coercion; 41pc reported that they were incapacitated when assaulted; 25pc faced force or the threat of force. Most of the students surveyed knew the perpetrator.


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