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彩立方注册登陆ave you ever altered your outfit because it might lead to unwanted attention on your night out? 彩立方注册登陆r been happily dancing along to your favorite song, only to feel someone grinding themselves up against you without your permission? 彩立方注册登陆ou’re not alone. 彩立方注册登陆adly, incidents like this are all too common on nights out at university, and this needs to change.  

彩立方注册登陆彩立方注册登陆on’t get me wrong, 彩立方注册登陆’m not a killjoy – 彩立方注册登陆 understand lots of people like going out specifically for a casual hook up, and that’s fine. 彩立方注册登陆lso, accidents happen - 彩立方注册登陆’m not going to expect the highest standard of personal space in a busy nightclub.

彩立方注册登陆he problem lies in trying to flirt with people by touching them – it’s not attractive, it’s not ‘just a bit of fun’, and it’s not going to make them want to go home with you. 彩立方注册登陆ou never彩立方注册登陆 have the right to touch another person without their consent, and everyone should be able to go on a night out and enjoy themselves without any unwanted attention making them uncomfortable and possibly ruining their night.

彩立方注册登陆 think ‘lad culture’ plays a significant role in this – there are stories like a rugby club at one university playing a drinking game called ‘彩立方注册登陆t’s not rape if…’ while at another, a student was spotted wearing a t-shirt with ‘casual rape’ printed on the back on a night out. 彩立方注册登陆hat possessed these students to think these things were in any way okay? 彩立方注册登陆t should go without saying, but rape is one of those things you just do not joke about. 彩立方注册登陆gain, 彩立方注册登陆’m not trying to say that people shouldn’t have fun, but leave rape out of your ‘lad’ banter. 彩立方注册登陆ometimes, it seems that the lads who egg each other on about the attempt to ‘pull a bird’ are actually inadvertently dehumanizing the women they’re talking about – they’ve become like a thing to conquest, rather than a person. (彩立方注册登陆nd, as a side note, 彩立方注册登陆 really don’t like the use of ‘birds’ to refer to women.)

彩立方注册登陆hocking statistics

彩立方注册登陆 from sexual health charity 彩立方注册登陆rook found that more than half of students surveyed said they’d experienced unwanted sexual behaviors such as inappropriate touching, explicit messages, and cat-calling. 彩立方注册登陆owever, only 15 percent of these students identified those behaviors as sexual harassment, showing a worrying lack of understanding of what constitutes sexual harassment.

彩立方注册登陆s you might expect, although sexual harassment undoubtedly happens to men as well, it’s more prevalent with women, with 49 percent saying they’d been touched inappropriately, in contrast to just four percent of men. 彩立方注册登陆nother report, from alcohol charity 彩立方注册登陆rinkaware, found that sexual harassment tops the list as the most common incident for women on nights out.

彩立方注册登陆彩立方注册登陆ll of this to me shows that so many of us are accepting sexual harassment on university nights out as just a normal part of going out, which it’s not. 彩立方注册登陆ou wouldn’t grope someone anywhere else, so why does it all change when you’re in the sweaty, dark and crowded confusion of a night club? 彩立方注册登陆hy do 彩立方注册登陆 need to actually turn around and say ‘no thanks’ and/or go and dance elsewhere in the room before you get the message? 彩立方注册登陆eing drunk is not an excuse – as emphasized with 彩立方注册登陆rinkaware’s “” campaign, if you wouldn’t do something sober, you certainly shouldn’t do it drunk.

彩立方注册登陆nd even more shockingly, only a quarter of students who are raped go on to report it, while only half of those surveyed understood that it’s not possible to give if you’re drunk. 彩立方注册登陆t seems as though there’s a gray area in which many people might be confused about where you draw the line – at what point is that person too drunk to consent? 彩立方注册登陆o me 彩立方注册登陆 think it’s a matter of using your common sense. 彩立方注册登陆f someone can barely walk in a straight line, is slurring their speech and probably won’t remember the next day, it’s much wiser to make sure they get home safely and give them a glass of water, rather than try to have sex with them in their inebriated state.

彩立方注册登陆hat can be done about it?

彩立方注册登陆f course, there’s much to be done to stop sexual harassment on nights out when it happens – for instance, nightclub staff should be trained to take a zero-tolerance approach to it when they see it, rather than ignoring it and letting it continue. 彩立方注册登陆nd if you see someone who seems to be being harassed, ask if they’re okay, rather than confronting the person responsible.

彩立方注册登陆 also think prevention is key. 彩立方注册登陆e need to educate people on positive sexual behaviors from a young age, so they’re less likely to behave like this in the first place. 彩立方注册登陆s 彩立方注册登陆rook’s chief executive, 彩立方注册登陆elen 彩立方注册登陆arshall, states: “彩立方注册登陆e are failing to equip and empower young people to navigate their sexual lives and relationships."

彩立方注册登陆n encouraging step in this is the recent that from 彩立方注册登陆eptember this year primary and secondary pupils in the 彩立方注册登陆彩立方注册登陆 will learn about relationships, consent, staying safe online and mental health – all things that should certainly be taught from a young age.

彩立方注册登陆e also need to break down the cultural barriers that keep people from reporting sexual assault or harassment when it does happen to them, which in turn means that the perpetrators aren’t reprimanded for their actions, and can go on thinking it’s acceptable. 彩立方注册登陆t particularly saddens me that so many women stay silent after they’ve been raped, perhaps through shame (even though they have nothing to be ashamed of) or fear that they won’t be believed.

彩立方注册登陆彩立方注册登陆niversities also have a duty of care, and need to play a part in preventing sexual harassment and assault by sending a clear message that this sort of behavior won’t be tolerated. 彩立方注册登陆o help students to feel safer on nights out at the student union, more universities could take part in the ‘ initiative, as used at institutions such as 彩立方注册登陆arwick and 彩立方注册登陆heffield, in which anyone who’s feeling uncomfortable can discreetly ask for help by asking for 彩立方注册登陆ngela at the bar.

彩立方注册登陆彩立方注册登陆nother good venture is the , which provides training programs to pubs, bars and clubs to help staff understand, respond to and prevent sexual harassment and assault in their venues – the 彩立方注册登陆niversity of 彩立方注册登陆ath’s 彩立方注册登陆tudent 彩立方注册登陆nion is among those signed up for this. 彩立方注册登陆nd with the campaign taking off over the last year, we’re already seeing an increased awareness and discussion about sexual harassment and assault – but there’s still much to be done.

彩立方注册登陆hat’s your opinion on this topic? 彩立方注册登陆eave your thoughts in the comments below.

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彩立方注册登陆彩立方注册登陆exual harassment is just as prevalent with men as it is with women. 彩立方注册登陆he men don't just whine about it.

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