Girls at Edinburgh tell us their worst stories of being groped on nights out
‘He grabbed my hand and rubbed it against his groin’
It might be a stranger, it might be an acquaintance, it might be a "friend". It's an unsolicited hand that comes out of the dark, grabbing you, caressing you, cupping you, patting you. That knot in your stomach when you don't know whose hand is on your body. You run, pull away or try to catch a glimpse of the person who's just had the gall, the audacity, to put their hands on you.
Being groped on nights out is as ubiquitous as shotting tequila – and this isn't okay.
I for one don't understand the logic. What are you trying to gain? If you think an unwanted hand on me is going to turn me on, then you're sorely mistaken. For the most part, it feels like an expression of male entitlement and perceived superiority – being able to just touch any girl that walks past, without consequence or identity, because you feel like you can.
Don't believe it's such a problem? Some of Edinburgh's students shared some of their worst groping stories with us.
Sophia, 4th year, Linguistics
"I was in a really packed club with a group of friends, and it was nearing the end of the night. I was wearing a fairly floaty top with no bra, and somehow in the crowd someone managed to put their hand up my top and grab my boob for a few seconds. I slapped the hand away, but it was too crowded to tell whose it was. I'm still not sure if it was one of the "friends" I was with, or a randomer."
Isabella, 2nd year, Chemistry
“In first year, I was friends with a group that was 90 per cent boys and they were getting increasingly laddish. Our friendship with them was starting to splinter, and one night we ran into them at Atik – so for the sake of having fun, we met up with them. One of the boys came up to me, he was really smashed. He asked me to come dance with him and I said no. He grabbed my wrists and pulled me towards him and wouldn’t let me go. He then pulled my hand and rubbed it against his groin – he held my hand there for a solid five minutes, it wasn't until someone saw me crying that he let me go.”
Anna, 3rd year, English
"I was holding hand with my friend in the club when I suddenly heard this guy behind me say, "Hey". And then he grabbed my ass. The two were simultaneous, he was wasting no time in introducing himself before groping me. What does this say about the club dynamic? We're dancing around fear."
Dana, 3rd year, Geography
"I was in Why Not with a group of friends waiting in the queue to get a drink. A guy came up beside me and asked if he could get in front of me, I said no. Then he stood behind me and proceeded to stroke my arm and grind up against my back. I turned around and he disappeared into the crowd."
Megan, 4th year, German & Spanish
"I was waiting in the drinks queue and a man behind me would not stop shoving his dick against my ass."
Marni, 2nd year, English
"I was at a Disney night in Liquid Rooms when someone really aggressively grabbed my hips and pulled me away from my group of friends. I turned around to scream at him, and him and his friend were both just laughing. Because to them, putting their hands on the body of a stranger is just one big hilarious joke."
Isla, 2nd year, Medicine
"I was out with my boyfriend and a group of his friends, when I felt a hand reach out and grab my boob. I thought it was my boyfriend at first, so though I was embarrassed I didn't say anything. Later when I mentioned it, he told me it wasn't him. It could have been anyone."
Eva, 2nd Year, Marketing & Digital Media
"I'm short, and every single night out I go on, guys think it's hilarious to pat me on the head."
Katie, 1st year, Philosophy
"It was the end of a night in Bourbon and we were trying to gather our group of friends together as we were leaving. I noticed an old guy in a fedora go up behind my friend and run his fingers through her hair. She didn't notice, and when I asked him what the fuck was he doing, he said he was checking to see if it was extensions."