Graphic Logo for COSC depicting a harp and text

The National Office for the Prevention of Domestic, Sexual and Gender-based Violence.

An Oifig Náisiúnta um Fhoréigean Baile, Gnéasach agus Inscnebhunaithe a Chosc

  1. Cosc Launches its Research on Awareness Raising of Domestic and Sexual Violence in Post-Primary Schools in Ireland

Cosc Launches its Research on Awareness Raising of Domestic and Sexual Violence in Post-Primary Schools In Ireland


An important part of High-Level goal 1 of the National Strategy is targeted at children and young people and aims to promote healthy relationships and develop among young people an intolerance of domestic, sexual and gender-based violence.

Recognising that schools have a key role in educating young people about healthy relationships and raising awareness of domestic and sexual violence, Cosc undertook a study of the current situation regarding domestic and sexual abuse awareness-raising activities among students attending post-primary schools in Ireland. The study also identifies the main obstacles experienced by schools in carrying out this work.

The SPHE and RSE material currently provided in schools aims to provide young people with a range of generic skills towards respectful and equal relationships. The majority of schools surveyed reported that the broader curriculum at both senior and junior post-primary level does not help explicitly to raise awareness about domestic and sexual abuse. A small proportion of schools have used outside facilitators for the purpose of raising awareness of abuse. A significant majority reported that they would prefer material on such abuse to be delivered by both teachers and outside facilitators. The principal difficulties reported by schools in delivering awareness-raising on sexual abuse to senior and junior cycle students include the pressure of examinations, an overcrowded curriculum and the possibility of parental opposition.

The indicative results of the survey informed the development of the National Strategy and the work of the SPHE support team in recent years. The results of the fully completed study are intended to further assist and inform the Department of Education and Skills in leading work with curriculum support services, under activity 3.1 of the National Strategy,  to strengthen awareness of domestic and sexual violence in a manner appropriate to second-level students and suitable for school curricula. Click here  to download the report.