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Online hub for students on sexual consent 'isn't a magic bullet' - Blackwell

The head of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre says a new online hub to inform third-level students ab...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.49 19 Jul 2021


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Online hub for students on sex...

Online hub for students on sexual consent 'isn't a magic bullet' - Blackwell

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

08.49 19 Jul 2021


Share this article


The head of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre says a new online hub to inform third-level students about sexual consent is not a 'magic bullet', but will help in conjunction with other schemes.

The service is being launched and will go live at the beginning of the academic year in September.

It will contain material for both students and staff in higher-level institutions and be publicly accessible.

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Noeline Blackwell told Newstalk Breakfast: "There's been a real push to put in place systems and policies to deal with sexual harassment and sexual abuse in higher-level institutions.

"That has been necessary because it was missing before - but ideally, you're trying not to have to use that.

"And one of the ways of not having to use those policies and procedures is to have a really solid, good base of understanding, consent, healthy sexual relationships, understanding about sexual activity in general.

"And that's where this online hub is a really useful way forward."

Ms Blackwell says one area that is still being missed is around capacity of consent.

"Everyone says 'Well of course I know what consent means: consent is yes and absence of consent is no'.

"But actually in real life, understanding consent between people involves a lot of communication, a lot of language.

"And this will give people language, information, it will allow people to apply it themselves.

"And it will also allow people to know what to do if somebody else discloses something".

Asked if this hub should be compulsory, she says new students will engage with it as part of their induction.

"I think you will find when anyone is going to college, particularly for the first time in September, they will be required to do induction - and part of that induction will be around how the college sees consent, how they understand sexual harassment and have zero tolerance for it".

And she says this will be used in conjunction with a nationwide campaign being rolled out by the Department of Justice.

"Here is a resource which isn't a magic bullet, because it's one of a number of resources, but it will be there, it will be focused on people who are in third-level institutions, focused on students and will be useful for them".

Online hub for students on sexual consent 'isn't a magic bullet' - Blackwell

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Main image: File photo via Gillian Williamson/Zuma Press/PA Images

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