Sexual harassment: How can you help?
If you see someone being sexually harassed on a night out, it can make a big difference if you ask them if they’re ok – whether they’re a friend or a stranger!
Going on a night out should be all about good music, good times and having fun. Nights out can be ruined by unwanted sexual advances from people who are drunk and almost three quarters (72%) of 18-24 year old men and women who drink in bars, clubs or pubs surveyed said that they had seen sexual harassment1 on a night out.
Worryingly, 79% of women said they expected inappropriate comments, touching and behaviour to take place when they went out – either to themselves or to their female friends.
Nearly two thirds (63%) of women and a quarter of men (26%) said that they had been on the receiving end of some form of sexual harassment themselves.
It’s not OK for anyone’s night to be ruined because of intrusive or inappropriate behaviour, and by looking out for people around you, you can help make sure that nights out are better for everyone!
You can make a difference by checking in with someone who seems uncomfortable. Ask if they are OK, rather than directly confronting the person whose behaviour is unacceptable. This lets the person know you have their back and can defuse the situation in a non-aggressive way.
If you’ve had a few drinks your inhibitions may be lowered, so be mindful of that before you intervene so you don’t end up adding to the problem.
If a situation looks like it’s already getting out of hand then telling a member of security staff will be much more effective and safe.
How can I help? Consider your options. If it's safe to do so, check in: Are they OK? If yes, then you've lost nothing!
If they say they’re not OK, strike up a conversation to find out how you can help, which puts distance between them and the harasser. You could invite them to join your group, offer to walk them to a different area of the venue, or ask if they'd like you to contact a friend, venue staff, first aid or security.
If you, or someone you know, has been affected by sexual harassment or any sort of sexual harm, help and support is available. Victim Support is an independent charity for victims and witnesses of crime. They offer free, confidential help to anyone who’s been affected by sexual harassment. Call 08 08 16 89 111 or go to www.victimsupport.org.uk