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Active* Consent and USI’s 2020 national Sexual Experiences Survey revealed that 79% of college students who disclose sexual misconduct (rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment) told a close friend.
Where would you start if a friend disclosed to you? What about a student, or a colleague?
What would you say? Where might you tell them to go?
Download our full campaign Start Here Tips Card.
Request tips cards for yourself, your institution or friend group: email@example.com
View all the “Start Here” videos on the Active* Consent YouTube Channel.
I Believe You: Why Your Role Hearing a Disclosure Matters
We know from the Active* Consent and USI Sexual Experiences Survey that high percentages of Irish college students have experienced sexual violence and harasssment.
% of students that have experienced non-consensual penetration through incapacitation, force or threat of force.
% of students that have experienced some form of sexual harassment since starting college.
For survivors of sexual violence and harassment, telling someone about what happened to you can be really scary. We know from our research that many different factors stop young people from telling anyone about a negative sexual experience.
Reasons why students did not disclose a negative sexual experience.
For survivors, the first experience of disclosure is so important. Getting a negative reaction from the person they tell can severely affect how they feel about what happened, and how they deal with the aftermath of the incident. However, showing someone that you believe them and are there to support them can improve their experience dramatically, and have a positive impact on how they deal with what happened (like empowering them to report the incident).
What Do You Want To Do Next?: National Directory of Services for Survivors
People who have experienced sexual violence and harassment have many different options for reporting the incident, as well as mental/physical health support services as they process their experience.
On your campus, you might refer someone who has disclosed to you to:
Your campus counselling service: Access NUI Galway’s Student Counselling service here.
Your Student Union Welfare Officer: Contact information for NUI Galway’s Student Union Welfare and Equality Officer here.
The Dean of Students Office: Contact information for NUI Galway’s Office for the Dean of Students here.
If you are at another college, consult your website for equivalent services at your institution.
If the person you are speaking with wants to seek immediate medical assistance, they can learn about visiting a Sexual Assault Treatment Unit here and access information about the closest unit to your location. SATUs are a free service and can provide survivors with a health check and forensic exam.
If they want to report the incident to Gardaí, they can find out more information about reporting sexual crimes here.
Individuals might also choose to seek counselling at a rape crisis centre. Bear in mind that as someone who received a disclosure, you can also access these services to process your own experience.
Here is a link to a national directory of regional rape crisis centres, and here is a direct link to the Galway Rape Crisis Centre’s site, our campaign partner. You can also call their helpline 1 800 355 355 (10am-1pm, Monday - Friday).
You can also use the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s 24-hour helpline 1800 77 8888.
Build Your Knowledge: Take the Active* Consent eLearning module, Sexual Violence and Harassment; How To Support Yourself and Your Peers
Our “Start Here” disclosure tips give you basic language and information to support a friend, student or colleague who discloses to you.
If you want to learn more about this issue take the Active Consent eLearning module, Sexual Violence and Harassment: How to Support Yourself and Your Peers. The module takes 45 minutes to introduce a more nuanced understanding of sexual violence, harassment and support services available to students who have had negative sexual experiences.
This module is directly informed by Active* Consent and USI’s 2020 Sexual Experiences Survey (SES), which shed light on areas where we found students reported gaps in understanding that need to be addressed.
Key gaps included understanding of the definition of rape and sexual assault and different forms of harassment as well as how to access support services.
Our eLearning module brings users on a self-directed and gamified journey that closes these gaps in knowledge. Users immediately test new knowledge by applying it to fictionalised scenarios and compare their own expectations for peer experiences of sexual violence and/or harassment (SVH) with current national statistics from the SES survey through frequent quizzes and polls.
To read the full Sexual Experiences Survey report, go here.
Amplify the “Start Here” Campaign
1. Follow us on social media and share our campaign posts:
- Facebook: Active Consent at NUI Galway
- Instagram: @activeconsent
- Twitter: @activeconsent
2. Tag us in posts you make about the “Start Here” campaign: #starthere #ibelievesurvivors
3. Use our social media gifs and stickers to show your support for the “Start Here” campaign, available on Instagram.
To hear more about the story of "Start Here," listen to this episode of the Glow West podcast with Dr. Caroline West.
To learn more about Active* Consent, USI and GRCC’s work in this area, visit:
For more information about the “Start Here” Campaign or how to work directly with Active* Consent, email firstname.lastname@example.org