Drunken sexual harassment 'is expected on a night out'

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

New campaign: eight of 10 women expect to see sexual harassment on a night out
New campaign: eight of 10 women expect to see sexual harassment on a night out
Charity Drinkaware has launched a new campaign called ‘It's OK to Ask' to address the problem of sexual harassment in the night-time economy.

The scheme encourages witnesses to drunken sexual harassment to challenge the situation as long as it is safe. Venues and operators are advised to help by supporting bystanders by making it clear that that drunken sexual harassment will not be tolerated on-site. 

The campaign has been launched as a survey, carried out by the charity and YouGov, which questioned 18 to 24-year-old men and women who drink in bars, clubs or pubs.

A whopping 72% said they had seen sexual harassment such as sexual comments, sexual touching or unwanted physical attention on a night out.

The majority of women (79%) said they expected inappropriate comments, touching and behaviour to take place when they went out – either to themselves or to their female friends. And 63% of women and 26% of men said they had been on the receiving end of some form of sexual harassment themselves.

Drinkaware chief executive Elaine Hindal said: "Drunken sexual harassment is seen by too many young people as part and parcel of a night out. The aim of the It's OK to Ask​ campaign is to empower people to challenge this behaviour.

"Operators can play their part by supporting bystanders who come to them for help and by taking the issue seriously, helping to foster a positive and safe social environment where drunken sexual harassment is not tolerated."

The It's OK to Ask​ campaign offers advice to bystanders in three key areas:

1.                  Spot it – is something dodgy happening?

2.                  Check it – is it safe to step in?

3.                  Speak out – if it's safe to do so, check in with the person being targeted: Are they OK? If not, alert staff or security.

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