Location, Libation and Leisure: An examination of the use of licensed venues to help challenge sexual violence
journal contributionposted on 12.04.2016, 08:53 by Clare Gunby, Anna Carline, Stuart Taylor
Anti-rape campaign messages have increasingly targeted men in order to educate them on the law of (sexual) consent. The 18-24 age demographic are at increased risk of experiencing sex offences, with over half of these crimes involving alcohol consumption. The interactions which culminate in alcohol involved rape often commence in night time venues, making intuitive sense for prevention campaigns to be based within licensed establishments. The Night Time Economy, however, comprises venues where people go to drink, have fun, take ‘time out’ and are characterised and criticised for their promotion of sexism. This article therefore asks: how useful are licensed spaces in promoting rape prevention discourses amongst young men? To this end, the paper analyses 41 students’ discussions (across six focus groups) regarding a rape prevention campaign that ran in one English city and that directed its prevention advice at males. In doing so, we argue that environments which incite narratives of loss of control and hypersexuality compromise the ability to counter sexual offending. We also argue that the presence of sexually violent advertising within licenced spaces undermines considerably the call to end gendered violence.