‘Rape banter’ in Leeds club night video sparks petition

ROW: Leeds Student newspaper editor Rehema Figueiredo with staff who have started the petition.
ROW: Leeds Student newspaper editor Rehema Figueiredo with staff who have started the petition.
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Over 2,200 people have signed a petition to ban a student clubnight in Leeds after a promotional video included footage of ‘rape banter’.

Students at the University of Leeds were outraged after the video – called ‘Freshers’ Violation’ – showed a male clubgoer describe how a girl was going to “get raped” and asked young women how they would “survive violation”.

The footage was taken down hours after it was posted on YouTube and Facebook by Tequila UK, which hosts clubnights at MEZZ bar in Leeds city centre.

Student Jennie Pritchard started the petition on behalf of the Leeds Student newspaper .

She said: “The ‘Freshers Violation’ video promotes rape and violation of women. It is disgusting.”

Tequila UK, which was set up by students 21 years ago, has apologised for the video and said they are keen to work with a local rape charity.

A spokesperson for Leeds-based Tequila UK also condemned the material, labelling it “deplorable” and “completely despicable”, adding: “We wish to apologise unreservedly. The interviewer was wrong to pose the questions he did. As soon as we were aware, we removed the video and apologised.

“We categorically do not think it is acceptable or appropriate to normalise, excuse, tolerate or condone rape or any sexual offence and we are taking this situation very seriously.

“We want to assure you, we are listening and are putting procedures in place to change our policies.”

Catriona Palin, from Support after Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds, said: “We are often told by those we support that attitudes held by society around rape can make it harder to seek help.

“This includes the trivialisation of rape and the acceptability of ‘rape banter’ such as that displayed in the promo video.”

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