More than half of female students victims of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is the biggest risk for female students on a night out according to a new survey by the alcohol education charity Drinkaware.

Friday, 9th September 2016, 1:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 4:30 pm
Inappropriate touching, comments or abuse are now more common than accidents

Inappropriate touching, comments or abuse are now more common than accidents, passing out, being in a fight or needing hospital treatment.

In the last year 54 per cent of 18 to 24-year-old female students taking part in the survey said they had experienced sexual harassment. And 51 per cent of the 1,087 women asked said it was something they experienced almost every time the went on a night out.

Danny Scott, 23, recently finished an MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield. She was ordering drinks at a bar when a man came up behind her and put his hand between her legs.

When Danny turned around and confronted the man, he laughed and danced away.

A few minutes later on her way to the bathroom, she bumped into the man again. When she told him he had acted inappropriately he shouted abusive language at her.

Danny felt so afraid of the situation that she ran into the toilet and locked herself in a cubicle.

She said: “It was so awful. It doesn't even surprise me that sexual harassment is more common than most things on a night out.

“I really feel like there isn't a woman around who hasn't had it happen to them.”

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.”

As students across the country get set to start Fresher’s Week Drinkaware and website Unilad have launched a campaign to highlight and eradicate sexual harassment on social media, using #GropeFreeNights, in order to shine a spotlight on the issue.