For many students across the country, sexual harassment is a usual part of the student entertainment experience. It's so normalised that whether they’re experiencing it or witnessing it, many students are unsure about how to call it out.
The magnitude of this issue h as been outlined in our recent lad culture and sexism research, in which 60 per cent of respondents said they were not aware of any codes of conduct implemented by their university or students’ union that prohibit or tackle sexual harassment.
In addition, rape culture in society means that often victims of sexual harassment and assault, especially women, are blamed for their experiences. The culture of blaming the victim rather the perpetrator means that many perpetrators avoid being held responsible for actions or being disciplined accordingly, whilst victims are often shamed or faced with insufficient support.
This is why NUS' Women's Campaign is taking steps to help build a movement against sexual harassment in student communities across the UK. It's one thing to pass a zero tolerance policy, but it’s is a dffierent struggle to actually enforce changes to create structures that provide students with the support they need.
That’s why we’re glad to be working with the Good Night Out campaign to produce innovative zero tolerance training resources for students’ union staff as part of our national strategy to tackle Lad Culture on campus.
The Good Night Out Campaign is an independent initiative dedicated to raising awareness of the issue of harassment on nights out, helping clubs, bars and pubs to tackle and prevent it and deal with it more effectively by training staff, security and management on how best to handle and prevent harassment.
Participating venues around the UK and Ireland will sign up to the Good Night Out pledge:
“We want you to have a good night out. If something or someone makes you feel uncomfortable, no matter how minor it may seem, you can report it to any member of staff and they will work with you to make sure it doesn't have to ruin your night”
The Good Night Out Campaign has launched its new website which has lots of information about how venues can get involved and contribute to the campaign for zero tolerance to sexual harassment and discrimination.
Universities which have already signed up to the Good night out campaign include University of East Anglia, University of Bristol, University of Sheffield, SOAS and Sheffield Hallam.
We look forward to providing further guidance and resources in partnership with the Good Night Out campaign to train staff on campus and help create a movement against rape culture and victim-blaming on campus.
To find more information about the campaign please email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.