College News

Usi hope new ‘say something’ card will help victims of unwanted sexual contact

The card contains information for anyone who is unsure what to do when they experience unwanted sexual advances or when physical assault has occurred.
“USI are delighted to launch the Say Something cards to raise awareness of the supports available to students who experience violence,” said Anne Hoey, Deputy President of USI.
She further explained how the USI strives to keep students informed on what help is at hand if an incident occurs and how they hope it will increase the amount of cases reported.
“USI also trains Students’ Unions around these issues to equip them on how to best support students. The cards will have all the information a student needs after they’ve been sexually or physically assaulted and we hope to see an increase in the number of reported incidents.”
She said that, according to Dublin Rape Crisis Centre, only one in ten cases of rape are reported.
In the survey funded by Cosc and the Department of Justice and Equality, in which 2,590 Irish students and 162 international students took part, 57% of participants did not believe the incident was serious enough to report and 44% did not think that what happened was a crime.
According to the survey, other victims did not report incidences as they felt ashamed and embarrassed. They were afraid they may be blamed for what happened and others did not want their family to find out what had occurred.
The report showed that 11% of women surveyed responded that they had been the victim of unwanted sexual contact. 
5% of women reported they were victims of rape, while 3% reported they were victims of attempted rape. Less than one per cent of male participants reported rape or attempted.
In over six in ten cases, the perpetrator was believed to be under the influence of alcohol.
According to the survey, 36% reported that unwanted sexual experiences happened ‘several’ or ‘many’ times.
“We hope that these statistics will shed new light on the area of violence, including physical and sexual harassment,” said Kevin Donoghue, President of the Union of Students in Ireland.
30,000 Say Something cards will be distributed to Student Unions nationwide in the next few weeks.