Photo en Une : DR

At a context where half of the British clubs closed in the last ten years and London's new mayor has pledged in his campaign to work to give a new vitality to London's nightlife. Broadly decided to investigate the reported number of sexual abuses related to nightclubs and bars.

Several figures caught our attention. Between 2011 and 2016 the number of reported rapes rose by 136% in London's many pubs, bars and clubs. The number of sexual violence cases in general (harassment and sexual assault) increased by 119% on the same period. The numbers here refer to open cases by authorities and not the actual number of sentences. The number of arrest escalated as well, but of 'only' 90%, and the sentence rate is even lower: 5,7% of all reported cases.

Less clubs = less sexual violence?

There were only 1733 clubs left in the UK in 2015h when there twice as many ten years earlier. One could then think that the number of incidents related to sexual violence would have dropped. It might not be such as safe assumption to make. Although those figures appear worrying at first they should not allow to jump to the conclusion that there is in fact a rise in sexual assault.

“It's possible that the higher reporting rate doesn't reflect an increase in sexual assaults, but rather the fact that women are growing increasingly confident that they'll actually see justice in some form. Bryony Benyon, the co-director of the Good Night Out campaign, which seeks to end harassment on nights out, tells Broadly that she's never surprised when reporting rates show high numbers. However, she is hopeful this is because more women feel comfortable coming forward—in part due to the success of campaigns like hers, and innovative approaches such as the Women's Safety Charter from forward-thinking local authorities.”

Far from being satisfied with that explanation Broadly critically sheds the light on the massive issue that sexual violence is. “The sad reality is that sexual violence and harassment is totally normalized in our nightlife.” The article concludes: “Are London's clubs, bars, pubs, promoters, security staff, and police doing enough to tackle the problem? Sadly, probably not.”

The saddest part is probably the lack of communication and of dedicated discussion space on those issues. The clubbing scene clearly needs to address a problem that the statu quo and the taboo that surrounds it are only worsening. Safe nights for everyone aren't there yet.