It’s International Women’s Day today and prior to this, the National Women’s Council of Ireland (NWCI) launched the “It Stops Now” website yesterday in attempts to stamp out sexual harassment & violence in third level institutions across Europe.
The “It Stops Now” campaign is part of the ESHTE Project (Ending Sexual Harassment and Violence in Third Level Education) and is funded by the European Commission.
Its aim is to build a culture of zero tolerance in third level institutions throughout Europe and seeks to engage both staff and students to combat all forms of harassment and violence against female students.
With nearly 20 million students across Europe enrolled in third level institutions, the “It Stops Now” ethos has the ability to reach many.
According to Orla O’Connor, Director of NWCI:
“Women aged 18-29 are subject to the highest levels of sexual violence, up 47% reporting such experiences in a study across five EU countries. In Ireland, 30% of students reported feeling harassed or intimidated in their current institution yet only 3% reported to anyone ‘official’.”
Tara Brown, ‘It Stops Now’ Project Coordinator said:
“The ‘It Stops Now’ website creates a much needed ‘one stop shop’ for students, student unions and societies, staff and others committed to promoting a culture of zero tolerance and stamping out the harmful behaviours that act as barriers to women’s equality, safety and their full participation in the university experience.”
“The website contains information for student victims of sexual violence and harassment, policies, research and advice on how to create change, and is currently being translated into a number of different languages,” added Ms Brown.