Half Of Young Women Have Been Groped On Night Out

Survey says that it’s the biggest risk of going out…

Half Of Young Women Have Been Groped On Night Out

by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

A lot of bad things can happen on a night out. But the most frequent crappy thing to happen? No, it’s not being done-over by a mate who swears they’ll do fare-split on the Uber. It’s not getting beer down your back, it’s not stumbling over in silly shoes. It’s not even passing out in the street! It’s being sexually harassed! Because a whopping 54% of young women aged 18-24 have been harassed with inappropriate comments, touching or abuse. Of those 54% of young women, a further 51% said that this is an experience they expect most or every time they go out. That means about a quarter of young women get treated awfully - just because they’re women - on nights out, and are so used to it they expect to happen pretty much all the time!

Ahead of Fresher’s Week, alcohol education charity Drinkaware, who put together this survey want to get people to shout out night-out sexual harassment on social media using the hashtag #GropeFreeNights. Now, we know what you’re thinking - what has drinking got to do with sexual harassment? Well, while someone could be three sheets to the wind and totally capable of not sexually harassing or assaulting someone, according to Drinkaware: ‘The goal is to provoke debate and empower young people to reject the permissive culture around sexual harassment on nights out’

Not so much the permissiveness of the victims of harassment when it comes to drink (drunkenness doesn’t make someone fair game) but the permissiveness of those around the guys (and it is, according to their research, mostly guys) who perpetuate this harassment. That’s part of why they’ve teamed up with UniLad for this campaign, which includes this survey of 2000 young people. Because women know - we really do - sexual harassment is bad, it’s now time to tackle the lad culture that says it’s just a bit of banter. FYI, 15% of young men aged 18-24 said that they’d been sexually harassed too - it doesn’t just go one way.

Ben Butler, Marketing and Communications Director at Drinkaware said: ‘Young people shouldn’t have to put up with sexual harassment as part of a night out. Touching another person in a sexual way without their consent is legally defined as sexual assault. We hope that through sharing their own experiences young people will think twice about what behavior is acceptable on nights out.’

Drinkaware will be sending specially-trained staff to four university towns around the country, eventually rolling the scheme nationally. The Drinkaware Crew will work with bars and clubs to promote a positive social atmosphere, support those who might be vulnerable after drinking too much and ensure safety when getting home. The scheme, which will eventually be rolled out nationally, aims to reduce all negative experiences related to drunkenness, and with a focus on stopping the actual perpetrators.

You might also be interested in:

Why Is Sexual Harassment Not Illegal?

7 Reasons All The UK's Clubs Are Closing

Over Half Of Women Are Sexually Harassed At Work

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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