On SAGE Insight: Targeting night-time economy venues when promoting rape prevention discourse

Article title: Location, libation and leisure: An examination of the use of licensed venues to help challenge sexual violence

From Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal

Anti-rape campaign messages have increasingly targeted men in order to educate them on the law of (sexual) consent. The interactions which culminate in alcohol-involved rape often commence in night-time venues. This article provides a critical examination of the use(fulness) of Night Time Economy (NTE) venues in one city in England in promoting sexual violence prevention messages amongst its male patrons. In doing so, the article analyses participants’ awareness and interpretation of a campaign that ran in Liverpool-based bars and clubs to raise awareness around alcohol-involved rape. The authors are not aware of other UK research that has asked male Higher Education students about their perspectives towards rape prevention messages aimed at them, partly due to the sheer novelty of such campaign approaches. This study thus provides an original examination of the perceived relevance and impact of rape prevention advice directed at men, focusing specifically on the ways in which the NTE interacts with the communication of those messages.

Abstract

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 which are characterised and criticized 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 article 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 licensed spaces undermines considerably the call to end gendered violence.

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Article details

Article title: Location, libation and leisure: An examination of the use of licensed venues to help challenge sexual violence
Clare Gunby Department of Criminology, University of Leicester, UK
Anna Carline School of Law, University of Leicester, UK
Stuart Taylor School of Law, Liverpool John Moores University, UK
From Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal
DOI: 10.1177/1741659016651751


     
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