More than 60 per cent of young women have been on the receiving end of sexual harassment on a night out, according to Drinkaware.

A survey of 18 to 24-year-olds found that 72 per cent had seen sexual harassment in pubs, clubs and bars. Nearly 80 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.

Over a quarter of men said that they had also been on the receiving end of some form of sexual harassment.

The findings were revealed as the charity launches a new campaign "It's OK to Ask" to address the problem.

Rolling out across the North West, an area identified as having a high proportion of people in the 18 to 24 age group who binge drink, the campaign advises witnesses to drunken sexual behaviour on what to do (see below).

Venues and operators can help by supporting bystanders and by making it clear that that drunken sexual harassment will not be tolerated on site.

"Drunken sexual harassment is seen by too many young people as part and parcel of a night out," said Drinkaware chief executive Elaine Hindal.

"The aim of the 'It's OK to Ask' campaign is to empower people to challenge this behaviour.

"Operators can play their part by supporting bystanders who come to them for help and by taking the issue seriously, helping to foster a positive and safe social environment where drunken sexual harassment is not tolerated."

The 'It's OK to Ask' campaign offers advice to bystanders in three key areas:

  • 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.


Earlier this year Drinkaware also launched a new focus on older drinkers.