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BBC Newsbeat reports that there is a growing problem with sexual harassment in British nightlife. The problem is now so big, it is considered “just part of the night.” Newsbeat interviewed sisters Lottie (18) and Anna (20), who tell about their experiences. Lottie says:

I have had my boobs grabbed, my bum grabbed, I’ve had people put their hands up my skirt and down my top. (…) I’ve had one guy come up to me in a totally inappropriate situation and grab my boobs, and then he was just holding them. I was shocked and didn’t know how to react. His friends laughed and said:’he’s just drunk, never mind him.’

The sisters say they sometimes wear shorts beneath their skirts, to prevent assaults from happening on a night out. Anna tells Newsbeat “you’ve got to be prepared and that’s the way it is, while Lottie adds:

I feel a bit like prey – there are a lot of predators around who will just grab you.

Newsbeat quotes another article that found more than twenty sexual attacks in pubs, bars and clubs in Engeland and Wales were reported to the police each week last year. Figures, provided by the police, show the vast majority of victims were female. Campaigners warn that the true number of attacks is probably much higher, for reasons Lottie makes clear:

I’ve never thought to report it because it happens to me every time I go out. It’s just what happens.

After hearing about Lottie and Anna’s experience, Chief Inspector Marie Wright of the Avon and Somerset Police has decided to try and do something about it. She set up a campaign to try to get more people to speak up against sexual assault:

Our message is clear – it is not acceptable and there will be consequences for anyone who behaves like this in our licensed premises. (…) It’s sexual assault and no-one has the right to touch somebody in this way without their consent and it needs to stop. If you’re assualted you should tell someone. It may be that you don’t want to tell the police, so tell the bar staff, or the people on the door or someone in the nightclub who works there.

Pub landlord Angelo said he took action to train the pub’s staff and DJ’s in how to spot inappropriate behaviour, after he found out two women were sexually assaulted on his dance floor, but didn’t tell anyone.

It’s a tough one, especially if people don’t come foward and make a complaint to us. In general they don’t – so it is our responsibility to watch and make sure that if anybody looks uncomfortable, you can go up and say ‘is anything ok?’ and go from there.