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Sexual harassment unwelcome part of night out for third of students

Published 08/09/2016

Young people are being urged to speak out against unwelcome behaviour as part of a campaign by Drinkaware and website UniLad
Young people are being urged to speak out against unwelcome behaviour as part of a campaign by Drinkaware and website UniLad

A third of university students have been sexually harassed on a night out, survey findings suggest.

More than half of females have experienced such unwanted attention, according to the research, which has been released in a bid to address what an alcohol education charity described as the "normalisation" of sexual harassment.

Ahead of Freshers' Week, young people are being urged to speak out against unwelcome behaviour as part of a campaign by Drinkaware and website UniLad.

Sexual harassment came top of the list of negative experiences affecting a night out.

Others included being sick after drinking too much, getting into a fight, and regretting a sexual encounter, the survey of more than 2,000 students aged between 18 and 24 revealed.

Students are being encouraged to tweet using the hashtag #GropeFreeNights, as part of a move to inspire debate and empower young people, Drinkaware said.

Spokesman Ben Butler said: "Young people shouldn't have to put up with sexual harassment as part of a night out. Touching another person in a sexual way without their consent is legally defined as sexual assault.

"We hope that, through sharing their own experiences, young people will think twice about what behaviour is acceptable on nights out."

Chief executive of UniLad Liam Harrington said: " We want our audience to consider whether they would still behave in the same way towards someone if they were sober.

"Drinking stops you thinking as clearly about social situations, including sexual harassment, and things your sober self would never consider all of a sudden seem a laugh or a good idea."

:: ICM interviewed 2,004 students online in July and August last year.

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