The ‘Ok To Ask’ campaign from alcohol awareness charity Drinkaware, found that 72 per cent of men and women aged 18 to 24 in the UK have witnessed sexual harassment in bars, clubs or pubs. 79 per cent of women said they expected inappropriate comments, touching and behaviour to take place when they went out – either to themselves or to their female friends.
Worryingly, nearly two thirds (63 per cent) of women and a quarter of men (26 per cent) said that they had been on the receiving end of some form of sexual harassment themselves.
In a bid to challenge this behaviour ‘Ok To Ask’, is encouraging bystanders to safely intervene when they see sexual harassment in bars and clubs.
The campaign advice was developed in collaboration with Good Night Out and encourages people to attempt to defuse harassment situations through non-aggressive means.
‘OK to Ask’ advises you to step in and ask if someone is ok if you believe they are being sexually harassed. If they say no, you should ask how you can help.
Drinkaware has outlined helpful steps you could take, and asks you to remember and act upon three main pieces of advice to help stop harassment situations. These are:
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, try staff or security.
Janet MacKechnie, Campaign Lead for Drinkaware, said: “For far too many people, drunken sexual harassment is now sadly part and parcel of a night out.
“Being drunk is no excuse to grab, grope or make inappropriate comments to strangers on a night out after a few drinks. If people see someone being sexually harassed, asking them if they are ok can make a big difference - whether they’re a friend or a stranger.”
Free, confidential help and support for people who have been affected by sexual harassment is available from the charity Victim Support by calling 08 08 16 89 111 or going to www.victimsupport.org.uk
Watch a video on the campaign below and find more info here.