Is verbal and physical abuse in student clubs getting out of hand?

Are we normalising harassment, asks Lucy Anna Gray

People have always gone out with their friends, gone dancing, had a bit too much to drink; but are things beginning to get out of hand? Has it become socially acceptable for verbal and physical abuse to take place in night clubs? We spoke to a group of university students to find out how they felt about ‘club culture’ and how it is affecting young people across the country.

The hype around fresher’s week is massive, with ever-increasing expectations of what a night out should be like. Through peer pressure or just a competitive nature, this means the amount people are drinking keeps on growing; in particular binge drinking. A large group of excited, drunk people are crammed into a dark room with loud music - the perfect place for abuse to take place. According to the NHS, “Binge drinking increases the risk of violent attacks and sexual assault.”

People end up doing things in clubs they probably wouldn’t do in any other social environment. This could range from an unwanted grope to a homophobic comment. Whatever form of abuse it is and at whatever level, if it happens in a club it seems to be acceptable. Bouncers and other types of nightclub staff are there to help stop this from happening, but do people have faith in them?

The vast majority of students we polled said that they had been made to feel extremely uncomfortable due to the actions of another person in a club. However, out of this group of people, who had all been physically or verbally assaulted, only a tiny fraction went on to report the incident.

“Yes I did report it, but I was a barmaid and my male colleague saw it happen so I asked him to throw the guy out. I doubt I would've done that if I didn't work there,” admitted one.

A student at Plymouth, who wishes to remain anonymous, spoke of an incident that illustrates this problem perfectly.

“Me and this guy were dancing in a club, having a good time. He then forced me to kiss him, grabbed my hand and put it down his trousers. After doing this he then forced my head downwards to his crotch. I was quite drunk at the time, and was just so embarrassed I didn't think to tell the bouncer, and said to myself it was just 'drunken bloke' behaviour.”

Unfortunately cases like this seem to be common, with people of both genders not reporting what has happened to them. This could be due to embarrassment, fear of not being listened to or misplaced shame at what has happened. Another student said that “club staff don’t interfere with these kind of things, so actions often get left unpunished. I once told a man working as a glass collector that a guy had just pulled my top off and undone my bra. He just said ‘what do you want me to do about it?’”

Fortunately, most people felt that student nights feel a lot safer than normal clubs, but this is still a serious problem that needs addressing. Various actions are being taken to help combat this issue, from hiring more security staff to drink aware adverts on television. Some believe that a possible solution to this problem is the ‘Campaign4Consent’ movement. It is a youth led campaign set up by the ‘Twitter Youth Feminist Army’ which focuses on getting the teaching of consent put in the National Curriculum.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Software Developer

£18000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Graduate Software Developer i...

AER Teachers: Graduate Primary TA - West London - Autumn

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

AER Teachers: Graduate Secondary TA - West London

£65 - £75 per day + competitive rates: AER Teachers: The school is seeking gra...

Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Surrey - £25,000

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Graduate Developer - Croy...

SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea