Sexual harassment is a dark side of the bar scene that many drinkers are aware of, but few choose to address. However, the Drinkaware team is looking to change that situation for the better. The UK based bar activist group just launched a new campaign aimed at combating sexual harassment in bars.
The program is targeted at raising awareness among patrons, as well as encouraging bystanders to check up on victims with acts as simple as inquiring whether others are okay.
“For far too many people, drunken sexual harassment is now sadly part and parcel of a night out,” declared Janet MacKechnie, Campaign Lead for Drinkaware. “It’s time to put an end to unwanted drunken sexual harassment. Asking someone if they are OK and giving them support sends a clear signal that this behavior is no longer going to be tolerated.”
Drinkaware’s campaign is a mix of traditional marketing materials and on-the-ground presence. A video spot will run on television and as a trailer in movie theaters throughout the northern and western UK.
In addition, the non-profit group will continue to provide education and training throughout the nation. The group has been already been hard at work on a join study with YouGov and the results are disturbing.
The research surveyed the the most affected demographic group, men and women aged 18 to 24 years-old, and discovered that 72% “had seen sexual harassment on a night out.” Furthermore, the report stated that “nearly two thirds (63%) of women and a quarter of men (26%) said that they had been on the receiving end of some form of sexual harassment themselves.” drinakaware also noted that 79% of women polled said that they expected themselves or their female friends to experience “inappropriate comments, touching, and behaviour” when out in a bar or club.
The plan is to combat harassment with awareness resulting in action. Drinkaware proposes a three step plan for revelers who witness something potentially wrong when out on the town.
- Spot it – Is something dodgy happening?
- Check it – Is it safe to step in?
- 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.
MacKenchie said, “It can be difficult to know exactly what to do which is why Drinkaware are giving young people this information and advice in the hope that next time they feel more confident to offer support to someone.”
Drinkaware is a London based educational group dedicated to protecting young drinkers from the various inherent dangers found on the nightlife scene. The group is known for their use of two person street teams in pubs and clubs across the UK.