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Everyday sexism in freshers week: the fightback starts here

Students first experience of university life should not include sexist abuse and intimidation. Students groups are taking up the fight but where is the leadership from the universities?

This week, the National Union of Students (NUS) revealed the results of a survey of over 2000 students. The results showed that 37% of female and 12% of male respondents had experienced unwanted groping or inappropriate touching. 36% of women had experienced unwanted sexual comments about their body (compared with 16% of men). Two-thirds said they had seen unwanted sexual comments directed at other students, and just under a third reported gender-based verbal harassment.

Particularly significant, given the breadth of the problem, is the fact that the same survey revealed three fifths of respondents were not aware of any reporting procedures at their university regarding sexual conversations, sexual comments, unwelcomed sexual advances, group intimidation and verbal harassment.

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