TCDSU are set to launch their full sexual consent survey findings at 3pm today.
Trinity College Dublin Student’s Union is to launch its sexual consent survey findings today. The survey was circulated in early December and received 1,038 responses across the university.
While the full contents of the report are not yet known, preliminary statistics released indicate that one in four female TCD students have suffered unwanted sexual contact, with 31% of this number saying that these offences had taken place in college.
TCDSU stated that this is a “topic that isn’t talked about enough” on college campuses and that they wish to tackle the issue. Sexual consent campaigns on campus are generally rare; UCC’s “Don’t be That Guy” campaign was successful when it launched in 2013 and now Trinity hopes to continue to raise awareness of issues of consent, sexual violence and assault.
Such an issue on Trinity campus has now been raised; in light of the statistics, it seems pertinent to encourage other colleges to do the same. Statistics from USI’s “Say Something” survey, which took place in 2013, reflect a worrying national trend in terms of college-level sexual violence.
The “Say Something” report indicated that 16% of students have had a non-consensual sexual experience in college. According to the USI report, this figure jumped to 25% for students who identified as LGBT.
Gender Equality Officer for TCDSU, Aoife O’Brien, told Campus.ie that, “Sexual harassment and assault is something we don't really hear about from the perspectives of people who experience it, partly because of how traumatic it can be to revisit their own experience, and partly because our society as a whole isn't as supportive of them as we'd like to think.
“I'm hoping that the publication of this survey's results will lead to a conversation about what consent and the importance of enthusiastic affirmative consent.” O’Brien also hopes to see a change in TCD policy regarding attitudes to sexual assault.
The launch takes place in TCD’s Global Room at 3pm today, with Rape Crisis Centre Ireland and AMEN (a charity that helps male survivors of abuse and assault) attending and speaking at the event.
If you have been affected by any of the problems raised by the survey or any issues related to it, you can contact Rape Crisis Network Ireland on 1800 77 8888, or Dublin Rape Crisis Centre on 091563676.