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Male students in Wrexham take a stand to ensure women can enjoy a safe night out

STUDENTS at a Welsh university have come up with their own rules of engagement for a night out, in collaboration with the Welsh Government’s Sound campaign to end violence against women.

In a series of engagement sessions, male students from Wrexham University explored the importance of creating a safe and respectful nighttime environment where inappropriate behaviour towards women is not tolerated or excused.

Sound is a bilingual platform for young men, with a single aim – to make Wales the safest place to be a woman. 

The group of male students came up with the following rules of engagement, during a collaborative session, where they opened up about how they think men should behave on a night out, to make sure women feel safe and respected.

Wrexham University’s rules of engagement:
Ask, don’t assume
Respect each other’s boundaries
Keep an eye on yourself, keep an eye on each other

The students said it is important to be respectful when engaging with women on nights out and to ensure consent is approved.

One student explained, “If I’m in a club and I go up to a woman and ask her if she wants to dance or if I can have her number, if she says no, I withdraw and I won’t bother her again. It’s knowing how to make people feel comfortable.”

Another student agreed, “Yeah I love to dance, but I never assume that people automatically want to dance with me.”

One student expanded on the importance of knowing your surroundings, “Know where you’re going and trust the people you’re with.”

The students agreed the most important rule of engagement they came up with was about respecting boundaries.

The students said it was about “drawing lines about the way men treat women.”

The students believe creating these rules of engagement will enable women in the area to feel safe when they are on a night out.

Commenting on his involvement with the Sound project, one student, Cal Roberts reflected:

“I think if SOUND had been around when I was younger, it would’ve healed my issues quicker and made me address problematic behaviours sooner. The project has helped me because a lot of the relationship terminology I hadn’t heard about before looking at SOUND. Knowing the definitions around words helped me put past situations into context, things like gaslighting and lovebombing.”

Commenting on their partnership with Sound, Wrexham University said,“Here at Wrexham University we have a strong commitment to addressing social issues and promoting gender equality. Our dedication to fostering a safe and inclusive environment on campus aligns perfectly with the goals of the campaign.

A key societal issue that our University and Student Union work collaboratively on is raising awareness of violence against women and we were delighted to be involved with the campaign helping to inform strategy and create impactful content, providing our students with the opportunity to reflect, learn and take positive action against violence and abuse.”

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