Published on November 12, 2013 | by Beau Bass

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Campaign against sexual assault in clubs

Campaign image to highlight the dangers of sexual assault

The Sheffield Anti-Sexual Harassment group (SASH) is launching a campaign to stop sexual assault [Flickr: Oisin Prendiville]

Students in Sheffield have formed an anti-harassment campaign to stop sexual assault in nightclubs and bars.

The Sheffield Anti-Sexual Harassment group (SASH) is launching a campaign to fight the problem and educate people about sexual assault.

‘Games’ such as Underhanding – where a man tries to ‘finger’ a woman without her consent – and club nights encouraging the ‘violation’ of freshers indicates that sexual assault is becoming commonplace in clubs.

According to Katherine Chapman, women’s officer at Sheffield University, “these crimes are normalised by society”.

Jessie Harper, who helps run the campaign, believes that some incidents are often not dealt with appropriately: “As a group, we are sick of the sheer amount of sexual harassment and assault that occurs in bars and clubs and the way in which these incidents are dealt with.”

Posters to raise awareness

SASH is encouraging clubs and other venues to hang posters to raise awareness and to train bouncers so they can spot and appropriately deal with harassment.

Venues that agree to this scheme will be awarded a “safe space” status and this will be published online.

SASH also plans to contact student unions to make sure they are not working with clubs that are unsafe or where sexual harassment is prevalent.

Chloe, a student at Camberwell, thinks all student unions including SUARTS should support this campaign: “I’ve been harassed by guys a few times in clubs. They think because you’re in a club it’s OK to grope you and when you push them away they can get quite aggressive.

“I think SUARTS should get behind this campaign as I’d be more inclined to go to a club where I know bouncers have been trained to deal with this behaviour.”

Furious

Yasemin, a final year student at LCC also welcomes the new campaign after bad experiences in clubs. “He grabbed my butt and squeezed it, I was so furious and just slapped him in his face. He then came closer and when my friends saw it, they pulled him away.”

Students in Leeds are also fighting for change as they urged Mezz Club to stop hosting the Tequila club night, infamous for their “Freshers Violation” promotion. The Change petition has already reached 3,500 signatures.

 

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