Sexual harassment is a 'societal problem' says Drinkaware chief

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Vulnerable: the Drinkaware Crew visits pubs and bars to ensure the safety of customers
Vulnerable: the Drinkaware Crew visits pubs and bars to ensure the safety of customers

Related tags Sexual harassment Alcohol intoxication Harassment

Elaine Hindal, chief executive of charity Drinkaware, has said that sexual harassment at licensed venues, especially in the night-time economy is a “societal problem” and has given advice to licensees on how they can help customers who are a bit worse for wear.

Hindal also explained that the charity is hoping to change the current culture around sexual harassment and that it is not just women who are affected.

She said: “There is a culture of groping, touching up, taking pictures up people’s dresses. This is unacceptable. People don’t realise how vulnerable they can become after drinking, especially students who aren’t always used to drinking.”

She advised bar staff on how to help those customers who have drunk too much: “If you see someone who is inebriated, think about how vulnerable they may be.

“Get them back with their friends, allow them to make a phone call, let them sit in a corner while the sober up. Think about what you can do to keep them safe.”

Working together

Hindal also gave tips for licensees on how to make their team aware of what to do with inebriated customers: “Make sure staff know and work well together with security and floor staff, and that the whole venue team knows that customer wellbeing and experience is so important.

“Ensure people feel looked after and supported if they do think too much. It needs to be an integrated approach with all the venue's team working together with the police and, if near universities, possibly the local student union too.

“Recognise that it is about vulnerability, make sure people stay with friends and stick together.”


Hindal also explained that the Drinkaware crew, who visit sites in the night-time economy to reduce drunken and antisocial behaviour, log their visits and the results were somewhat surprising: “One third of people that our crew help are men. Women are particularly vulnerable for obvious reasons but young men are too.

“It is a multifaceted solution but it is a societal problem. People do step in to make sure girls are protected and that is right but men are vulnerable too so you need to remember that.”

The charity and online Millennials site UNILAD teamed up this month (September) to tackle alcohol-related sexual harassment during Freshers' Week​.

Related topics Health & safety

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