Bid to tackle Leeds nightscene’s sex pest menace

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A pioneering initiative was launched in Leeds today with the aim of stamping out sexual harassment in the city’s clubs and bars.

Leeds University Union’s We’ve Got Your Back campaign will provide specialist training for people working in around 30 local nightspots.

Staff will be advised on how to identify and deal with victims of harassment.

Venues will also be encouraged to set up areas where victims will feel comfortable reporting what has happened to them.

The campaign is being supported by the University of Leeds, Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire police and crime commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson.

Its launch follows a nationwide survey in which 37 per cent of female respondents said they had suffered inappropriate groping or touching on UK university campuses.

In a separate survey, 55 per cent of Leeds students said personal safety was one of their major concerns.

Leeds University Union equality and diversity officer Gemma Turner said: “We have a duty to make our campus and city safe for the 31,000 students at the University of Leeds, which is why we already have a zero tolerance to sexual harassment policy within the union, our own bars and venues.

“As we are passionate and committed about doing more to stamp out sexual assault in all its forms we are rolling out our own successful scheme on a wider scale across the city.

“It’s critical that we have Leeds’s bars and clubs on board because sexual assault and harassment is particularly prolific in loud, crowded environments where people drink heavily.”

For more details, visit www.leedsuniversityunion.org.uk/campaigns/weve-got-your-back or ring 0113 380 1328.

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