Eighty-eight per cent of KU students said they have been groped on a night out, according to the results of The River’s sexual assault survey.
Over 200 current KU students responded to our survey and 70 per cent said they have been groped more than 10 times on Kingston nights out.
A girl told The River: “I was out in Pryzm in the downstairs room where I was cornered by a guy who then pushed me against the wall. He literally forced himself on me and tried to put his fingers up my vagina.”
“I was absolutely terrified. I froze. I couldn’t scream or shout or anything. I just bolted and got the strength from somewhere and ran away.”
From remarks to groping, sexual harassment is defined as behaviour that is unwanted, intimidating or humiliating for the victim.
Touching another person in a sexual way when they haven’t consented is defined by the police as sexual assault.
Another girl told The River: “I went to meet my friend at her university in central and so I didn’t know anyone. I was walking to the bar and I just felt a hand go under my skirt and he squeezed but wouldn’t move his hand.
“I turned around in pure shock, not sure whether to cry or lose it, but luckily a random man came and argued with him. He walked off but I was really upset and left.”
A spokesperson from Victim Support, said: “If sexual assault happened within 72 hours, you can have a medical examination carried out at your nearest Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) to collect forensic evidence.
“We don’t just help people who’ve recently been sexually assaulted or raped – we’re here to support both men and women weeks, months and years after the crime took place.
“All of our services are confidential, free and available to anyone who’s experienced sexual assault or rape. We can give you emotional and practical support, regardless of whether you have told the police or anyone else about the assault.”
A third student told us: “I’ve had someone slide their finger up my dress before, when standing behind me. I’ve had my hair pulled when someone touched my bum.
“I didn’t know what to do but I’m the type to not let a scumbag get away with shit like that. If I can see or feel someone’s trying a bit too much then I’ll normally just say deck off straight away.”
It is not just female victims who have reached out to The River about sexual assault.
Twenty-three male students responded saying they had been groped without consent during a Kingston night out.
One male student said: “It was in the taxi on the way back to halls when she went straight in to kiss my neck, tried to reach down my trousers and grabbed me.
“I honestly felt violated afterwards but none of my friends took me seriously when I was evidently quite upset about it. I sat in my room in silence contemplating what happened afterwards.”
The Victim Support helpline is 0808 802 9999 and is open every day at 12-2.30pm and 7-9:30pm.