So you’ve bought them a drink, you’ve paid for the taxi home, and you’re taking off your shoes… You’ve asked them if they want to have sex, right?


When we are intimate with someone, in all circumstances, consent comes first. When having sex, consent is an agreement between all parties that they definitely want to do any or all sexual acts. Everyone needs to fully and clearly agree to it and their consent must be continuous for the duration of sex.

Consent is needed for all types of sexual acts and it should be given freely, consciously, and enthusiastically without any manipulation, convincing, or threats. If consent is not expressed then this is not sex - it is assault.

Sometimes, people comply when having sex. This is when a person puts pressure on themselves to do something that they may not be comfortable with. Although this pressure comes from within, this may be a sort of violation.

It is important to remember that even if you consent to a sexual act, you are absolutely free to change your mind before the act begins, or at any time before it ends.

Consent cannot be given if any party is forced or manipulated to do so, they are asleep or unconscious, they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if someone else consented on their behalf.

Some examples of how you can confirm consent:

  • Do you want to have sex?

  • Can I kiss you here?

  • Do you want me to stop?

  • How far are you comfortable going tonight?

Dublin Rape Crisis Centre National 24-Hour Helpline 1800 77 88 88

If you have been raped or sexually assaulted you do not need to make any decisions now about reporting the assault to the Gardaí or PSNI but it is a good idea to leave your options open.


Here are some points to remember:

  • You can ask a friend to contact the Rape Crisis Centre for you or ask a friend to come with you. 

  • If you decide you might want to report the rape or sexual assault to the police, do not wash until after you have had a medical and forensic examination because important forensic evidence might be washed away.

  • If you were attacked in your mouth and you want to report it, don’t eat, drink, smoke or use toothpaste or mouthwash until samples have been taken from your mouth area.

  • Do not throw out or wash underwear or clothes that you were wearing at the time of the assault as these will be needed for forensic examination.

Reporting sexual assault or harassment in UCD

This year, UCD launched its Anonymous Reporting Tool. This site allows the user to anonymously report an experience or witnessing of bullying, harassment, or sexual misconduct.

All members of the UCD community are entitled to use this tool. UCD students and staff are protected by the Dignity and Respect policy.


Breaches of this policy are dealt with seriously and there is a team of contact persons that you can reach out to if you or a friend wants support or to report a breach in the policy.


Relationships can be exciting, and getting to know someone new can make you see them in a positive light - however - this may prevent you from seeing or feeling some things that aren’t normal in a new partner… Knowing the signs of abusive behaviour, even in a new relationship, can help you identify it and get help early if you need it.


Spotting the red flags


If you notice any or all of these signs at any stage of a relationship, don’t feel scared to reach out for help.



Spending a lot of time together is quite natural at the beginning of a new relationship, but if your partner is consistently calling or messaging you when you aren’t together and you find it difficult to have time on your own, this could be a sign of controlling behaviour.



Jealousy and possessiveness can be mistaken for love and adoration in the beginning of a new relationship. However, becoming excessively jealous over the people you talk to, hang out with, or socialise with online may indicate some controlling behaviour.


Behavioural extremes

Some extreme behaviours in a partner can include being hot and cold towards you in a short period of time, and having extreme reactions to minor things for no particular reason.


Everyone has their own views on how they think people, especially their partners, should behave, but no one should force you to believe something that you don’t - in public or private.


If your partner makes it difficult for you to keep in touch with family or friends or criticises your relationships with them, they may be trying to control these relationships in your life.


If you notice any aggression or critique towards others from your partner, that in turn could result in them acting aggressively towards you, forcing you to do things that you aren’t comfortable with.


If you’re having sex, you should be taking advantage of the free condoms and lube that you can get from SU reception. In addition to using protection, if you are sexually active you should get regular STI checks to prevent transmitting STIs to your partners. Remember that when you have sex with someone, you are having sex with everyone they have had sex with, and with everyone they have had sex with, and so on.

When it comes to STI checks, below we have listed some places in the Dublin area that do them for free. For more information on STI checks and Sexual Health you can contact your Welfare Officer by phone at 01 716 3112 or by email welfare@ucdsu.ie.

HIV Ireland, 70 Eccles Street, Dublin 7

01 873 3799

Walk-in clinic 2nd and 4th Wednesday of every month, 13:00 - 15:30


St James’ Hospital, GUIDE Clinic, James’ Street, Dublin 8

01 416 2315

Walk-in clinics Monday, Tuesday, and Thursdays. Tickets allocated at 8:00.


Beaumount Hospital, Department of Infectious Diseases, Beaumount, Dublin 9

01 809 3006

Walk-in clinic Thursdays from 10:00 - 12:00

HIV Testing Only

Gay Men’s Health Service Clinic, Baggot Street Hospital, 18 Upper Baggot Street, Dublin 4

01 669 9553

Clinic from MSM and Trans community 13:30 - 15:00


Sexual Assault Treatment Unit, Rotunda Hospital, Parnell Square East, Dublin 1

01 817 1736

Free sexual health screening and medications as required for people presenting after a recent sexual assault



Rapid HIV Testing


PantiBar: 7-8 Capel Street, Dublin 1.

Saturday & Sunday 15:30 - 17:30


The Boilerhouse: 12 Crane Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin 2.

Saturdays 17:00 - 19:00


The George Bar: 89 South Great George’s Street, Dublin 2.

Tuesdays 20:00 - 22:00


OutHouse: 105 Capel Street, Dublin 1.

Wednesdays 18:00 - 20:00


For more information, contact HIV Ireland on 01 873 3799



STI tests are available on campus in the Student Health Service which is located in the Old Student Centre, above the Students’ Union Corridor.

Doctor led clinics for those presenting symptoms cost €60.

Nurse led clinics cost €40 for a general screening.

Call 01 716 3134 for more information.


Am I ready to be a mammy?

The pill, the bar, the injection, and the free SU condoms. With the exception of abstinence, no contraceptives are 100% effective.

If you think that you could be pregnant, you have missed your period, or are just concerned, don’t delay in speaking to a doctor. Pregnancy tests typically test your urine for a specific hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG). This hormone is only present if you are pregnant as it is only released in the body if a fertilized egg attaches outside the uterus to your uterine lining.


Pregnancy tests are available for free from your Students’ Union and the Welfare Officer is available for consultations also.

An unplanned pregnancy can present a lot of questions amongst you as a student, so we’ve compiled a list of resources to aid you in becoming as informed as possible when making any decisions concerning your pregnancy.


Now what?


Once you know for sure that you are pregnant, you can avail of support from the national network of +Options providers www.positiveoptions.ie.

My Options can be contacted by freephone 1800 828 010.

The HSE website provides more information and support on your options in an unplanned pregnancy including continued supports as well as abortion services https://www2.hse.ie/unplanned-pregnancy/.

The Welfare Officer is always around to support you should you need to discuss deferring exams, extending deadlines, or taking time out. Call 01 716 3112 or email welfare@ucdsu.ie to get in touch. Alternatively, you can drop by SU reception to make an appointment.

Continued pregnancy supports

If you have decided to continue with your pregnancy, you should take support from those who are closest to you. Reach out to friends and family, and take time to consider the practical aspects of your life.


If you have a job, you may have to consider how long you can continue to work whilst pregnant, and how long you can continue to study in University.

Thousands of pregnant people manage to complete their degrees every year, you just need to be practical and work with your school to discuss time off, exams, and reaching deadlines.

Detailed information is available to you from your Welfare Officer regarding financial assistance and social welfare entitlements.


The UCD Creche can be contacted via email at oakmountcreche@gmail.com


If you have decided to continue with your pregnancy but are considering adoption, you should get professional support as early as possible.


If you decide to go through with the formal process of adoption, you will need to be appointed to an adoption social worker through TUSLA who will guide you through the process.


Your social worker will ensure that you are making the choice to have your baby adopted without any other influence. You will be supported through the process of matching your baby with an adoptive family and through continued support until the adoption order is made by the Adoption Authority of Ireland.

Here2Help are a registered adoption agency in Dublin who will help you connect with TUSLA and aid you in getting the support of a dedicated social worker. They provide full adoption services to anyone wishing to explore this option.

Tusla - Child and Family Agency regional offices provide services in relation to all adoption matters. They also provide signposts to other post adoption services. www.tusla.ie 

The Adoption Authority Duty can be contacted Monday to Friday from 10:00 - 13:00.

01 230 9306.

Here2Help Dublin

Arabella House, 18D Nutgrove Office Park, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14.

01 269 2200

1850 67 33 33


Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow Adoption Service, Dartmouth House, Kylemore Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin 10 D10 XD32.

01 620 1100  


The Health (Regulation of Termination of Pregnancy) Act 2018 defines the circumstances and processes within which abortion may be legally performed in Ireland. The act came into force on January 1st, 2019 after Ireland voted to repeal the 8th Amendment in a historic referendum in 2018 allowing for abortion access in the Republic of Ireland.

An abortion is the medical process of terminating a pregnancy. The pregnancy ends either by taking medication or having a minor surgical procedure. Abortions are available free of cost through the HSE if you live in the Republic of Ireland. If you live outside of the ROI, you can have an abortion in the Republic of Ireland but you will have to pay for it.

You can have an abortion if your pregnancy is no more than 12 weeks, this means 84 days since the first day of your last period. A GP or doctor must certify that you are no more than 12 weeks pregnant and this must be at consultation must be at least three days befire having the abortion procedure. After 12 weeks, you can only have an abortion in certain circumstances. Getting support early on will allow you more time to make a decision about procuring an abortion.

If you are under 18 years old you are encouraged to involve your parents or a supportive adult with you during this time for support. If you are 16 or 17 years of age you can still be offered an abortion but only if the doctor is confident that you understand the information given to you and they have your consent.Your parents do not need to be told about your abortion if you are 16 or 17 but your GP might have to report your details to Tusla - The Child and Family Ageny if they believe that your safety is at risk.

My Options provide free and confidential advice on your options. Information and counselling is also given Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 21:00 and from 10:00 to 14:00 on Saturdays.

My Options can be contacted for free at 1800 828 010 and at +353 1 687 7044 from outside of the Republic of Ireland. 



Where to go for an abortion

Abortions can be carried out by attending any of the following sevices if they provide them and you are permitted to bring along a friend or family member for support:


  • GP surgery

  • Family planning clinic

  • A Women’s health clinic

  • Hospital


Who to contact for an abortion

To have an abortion you can contact:

  • the My Options support service on freephone 1800 828 010

  • a GP surgery that provides abortion services

  • a family planning clinic that provides abortion services

  • a women's health clinic that provides abortion services

Should you need to have an abortion in a hospital your GP will refer you. This may be because you:

  • are more than 9 weeks pregnant.

  • have any ongoing medical conditions or health-related illness.

  • have become pregnant despite using an intrauterine device (IUD) — a form of contraception.

Doctors and GPs have the right to conscientious objection and they do not have to provide abortion services if they do not want to. If this is the case with your own doctor or GP, they should refer you to someone else who will provide the service for you.

The main thing to remember is that you have a lot of options, choice, and support.

We’re here to help

For more information on your options or a friendly chat, your Welfare Officer is here to guide you to the professional services you may need.


Call 01 716 3112, email welfare@ucdsu.ie, or make an appointment at SU reception.

UCD Student Health Service

The UCD Health Centre are also available to be contacted for information or appointments.

With a team of Nurses, GPs, and Counsellors, they are located on the first floor of the old Student Centre (above the SU Corridor) and are open from 9:00 - 12:30 & 14:30 - 16:30, Monday to Friday.

The Student Health Service is unable to facilitate medical cards or EHIC cards. A general consultation with a doctor is €25. Further testing or specialist consultations carry additional costs.

More information on their services can be found on their website HERE or by phone 01 716 3134




National 24-Hour Helpline 1800 77 88 88

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre (DRCC) a national organisation offering a wide range of services to victims of rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, or childhood sexual abuse.


Going to the Guards


If you decide to report a sexual assault to the Gardaí, it is important that you report at the earliest occassion so that all available evidence can be collected.


The Gardaí can be contacted day or night on their emergency number 999 or 112. Alternatively, you can contact them in person at a local Garda station.


The nearest Garda Station to UCD is Donnybrook Garda Station.

The criminal legal process begins once a crime is reported to the Gardaí. They will arrange to have a statement taken in which they will require you to go into as much detail as possible so you may need to prepare for that.


It is important to remember that you will be talking about a very personal, distressing incident in your life so it’s natural to feel embarrassed and/or get upset during the statement.


You can ask for a break if you need to and you are allowed to bring a representative from the DRCC with you for emotional support.

In some cases, it may not be possible to take a full statement immediately as the Gardaí may need to arrange for the forensic medical examination (FME) in a Sexual Assault Treatment Unit (SATU).

As the sole investigative agency for sexual crimes, the Gardaí are obliged to investigate reported crimes as quickly as possible, and to compile and forward an investigation file on the case to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

SATU (Sexual Assault Treatment Unit)

Sexual Assault Treatment Units are specialised units, located in a number of settings throughout the country, where an FME is carried.


The SATU in Dublin is located in the Rotunda Hospital, Parnell Square East, Rotunda, Dublin 1.

This Unit can be contacted at 01 817 1736 9:00 - 16:30 on Weekdays and at 01 817 1700 outside of those hours.

SATU services respond to requests from the Gardaí for the collection of forensic evidence to aid the legal process, and it is important that the FME is performed as soon as possible after a sexual assault.

The Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) is the National Representative Body for its member Rape Crisis Centres.


You can find out more about counselling services by emailing counselling@rcc.ie.

For those who are deaf or hard of hearing, a text service can also be availed of (Mon-Fri between 8.00am – 6.30pm):  086 823 8443