What ruins a good night out?
We all know that a night out is meant to be a laugh. But, unfortunately, too many of them are ruined by unwanted, intimidating sexual advances from people who are drunk. Some people think that it’s OK to grab and grope strangers on a night out after a few drinks. But there are still limits, and being drunk is not an excuse.
If you wouldn’t do it when you’re sober, you shouldn’t do it when you’re drunk.
Just over a third of women (35%) and 9% of men have reported receiving unwanted sexual contact on a night out1. These range from things like grabbing and groping, to serious sexual assaults. Far too often this kind of intimidating behaviour is simply accepted as part of a ‘night out’ but can often lead to fights and both men and women have reported this ruining their night.2
What's the difference between flirting and harassment?
Harassment can include:
- Unwanted touching or groping
- Verbal abuse
- Persistent pestering
- Taking photographs without permission
- Unwanted attempts to kiss someone
- Staring or leering
- Following a person around, or refusing to leave them alone
- People exposing themselves publicly
Perpetrators of harassment may try and cover up their behaviour by calling it ‘flirting’, ‘banter’ or ‘a laugh’. The difference between flirting and harassment is consent.
Consent is when a person agrees to something by choice and has both the freedom and mental capacity (i.e. is aware of and understands what is happening) to make a choice.
Flirting involves consenting to someone else’s attention, but consent can be taken away at any time.
Just because someone has been given consent in the past, doesn’t mean they automatically get it again.
Need further help or advice?
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
Other organisations that can help
Hollaback’s Good Night Out campaign
A campaign to end sexual harassment on nights out by the charity Hollaback.
A place to anonymously share information about criminal activity.
Everyday Sexism Project
A place for women to share their experiences of sexism.