Is there a rape culture at UK universities?

Deputy Editor, Caitlin Doherty, asked students across the country if they’d ever experienced sexual harrassment. These were the responses:

“I’m going to have to stop talking to you now or I’m going to end up hurting you.”  – Norwich

“I was separated from my friends on a night out, I had kissed a guy earlier in the night and he agreed to help me look for them. I had said no to anything other than a kiss, he seemed all lovely and charming but wouldn’t take no for an answer and whilst we were searching for my friends he tried to put me into a taxi. He picked me up and physically tried to put me into a taxi. He thought because I had kissed him that I was automatically obliged to go home with him.” – Chester

“I was walking home from a night out at the Waterfront. I had been planning on walking home alone, but a friend who lived nearby accompanied me. During our walk, two separate guys shouted sexually aggressive things at us, we rolled our eyes and carried on home. The next morning, I found that two of my friends walking home from the same club had been attacked by two guys and had to go to hospital. Now my housemates and I make arrangements to call each other if we’re walking home alone after dark.” – Norwich

“A guy propositioned me for sex, and when I said no he waited until I was on my own and then he beat me up. He said it served me right.” – UEA

“When dancing with my friends a guy came up to me and forcefully put a couple of fingers between my legs and pushed up. The bouncers wouldn’t throw him out.” – Bury St. Edmunds

“I was with a bunch of friends in the LCR when some girls we knew cut through the middle of us, we realised that they were doing this to get away from a guy that had been following them. We turned our backs hoping that he would get the hint and go away. Eventually I put myself between him and them and told him to go away, he leant right into me and I had to push him in the chest and tell him to “fuck off”. It made me so uncomfortable that this guy wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer.” – UEA

“I went to an all girls school, but we also had a boys school and a mixed school in town. I would have to walk past a bus stop full of boys from the schools and every time I would get some kind of harassment: catcalls, wolf whistles, having my breasts and bum grabbed. This happened from when I was 12 until I was in sixth form. It was regular when I was in my uniform.” – Lincolnshire

“I was walking in Riverside with a friend and there were a few guys behind us. They said to us “I’m really hard looking at you both right now”. When we ignored them they said “oh, we get it, you’re lesbians.” – Norwich

“You don’t really mean no, as soon as you break up with your boyfriend, you’re going to be mine.” – UEA

“I went to a house party at my friend’s where I felt comfortable and as a result had too much to drink. I was put to bed in one of the bedrooms. I woke up a few hours later, half undressed and surrounded by 5 boys with camera flashes going off. One of them told me to get out of the room if I wasn’t going to ‘shag’ any of them and another one told me we’d ‘done stuff’, despite me being passed out.” – Liverpool

“I can’t remember a night out at uni where I didn’t get groped.:” #UnsafeatUni


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November 2021
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