Inaugural seminar of RESPECT Network, an all-Ireland initiative Promoting Safe Relationships in Higher Education towards addressing sexual violence


Today (25th Nov. 2016) RCNI are delighted to participate alongside our partners, in publicly launching the RESPECT Network at our first public conference in Newry’s, Canal Court Hotel. The RESPECT Network is an ongoing and growing collaboration between academics, students and relevant agencies in a concerted initiative to respond to and address sexual violence in the higher education experience across the island of Ireland.


Clíona Saidléar, RCNI Executive Director said, ‘we want all people in 3rd level education and particularly young people to experience an empowering and safe learning environment. That environment should be free from the threat or risk of sexual harassment and violence.


‘The public launch of the RESPECT network is an exciting next step in the work to prevent sexual violence, to build a resilient and safe learning environment and culture and to ensure responsive authorities supporting those communities.


‘Working together with the Universities across Ireland, academics and staff, the student bodies and NGOs we believe we can support that environment where healthy relationships flourish. Where there is victimisation it is vital that the community and all authorities respond appropriately in ways that empower and respect survivors.’



RESPECT is a collaborative research network of academics, students and third sector organisations from the North and South of Ireland. Our aim is to promote safer relationships for ALL by creating a starting point for future collaborations and research.

RESPECT is interested in three streams:

  1. Prevalence: Identification and extent of risk behaviours within relationships and associated outcomes.
  2. Prevention: The promotion of positive relationships. Including topics such as consent and the development of appropriate skills.
  3. Policy: Developing and evaluating policies for higher education and other organisations.


Visit our Facebook page on RESPECT Network and twitter @RESPECT_Net website will be going live today where you can find the list of collaborators and outline of full aims and objectives of the three streams (

The conference is entitled Promoting Safe Relationships in Higher Education and is being held in the Canal Court Hotel. Speakers include Prof. Janet Beer, Vice Chancellor of University of Liverpool, Prof. Bill Flack of Bucknell University USA, Dr Pádraig Mac Neela, NUIG, Dr Louise Crowley UCC, Dr Cherie Armour, Ulster University, Philip McCormack Cosc, Dr Clíona Saidléar RCNI, Helen Bracken, Nexus NI and many others.


For information

Cliona Saidlear on 087 2196447