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What would you do?

Scenario: A stranger gropes a woman in a club 

You’re standing at the bar in a busy club. A man walks up to the woman next to you and starts talking. Suddenly he’s putting his hand up her skirt. She tries to move away and is clearly uncomfortable.

Groping is sexual abuse.

How could you step in and stop it happening?

  • Point out what’s happening to the bar staff or supervisor and ask them to step in and stop it.

  • Walk up to the woman and start a conversation, for example telling her you recognise her from a party you were at last week. Or you could ‘accidentally’ drop something near them to interrupt the moment and give her a chance to move away. If you get the chance, make eye contact and mouth something to show you’re an ally, like “Are you OK?”.

  • If you feel safe doing so, you could say something directly to the man. Keep it short and to the point, for example “Leave her alone” or “You need to stop doing that”. Once you’ve spoken to him, turn your attention to the woman and ask if she’s alright.

  • If you don’t think it’s safe for you to intervene by calling out the man’s behaviour directly, wait until he’s moved away then ask the woman if she’s OK and if there is anything you can do to help.

Remember, there’s no single answer. You should do what you think is best to keep you and the person being abused safe.

Explore another scenario:

Your friend catcalls a woman in the street
Your brother is controlling his wife