2: ‘Everywhere’ or ‘Over There’? Managing and Spatializing the Perceived Risks of Gender-Based Violence on a Girls’ Night Out

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This chapter explores the ways in which women negotiate, manage – and to a degree accept – gender-based violence (GBV) on a ‘girls’ night out’, drawing on original research conducted with young women in north-east England. With a particular focus on mainstream bar, pub and club spaces where patterns of (hetero)sexualized interaction are normalized and expected, the chapter highlights the spatial dynamics that were apparent in young women’s accounts of risk and safety when clubbing and consuming alcohol with their female friends. Specifically, it identifies a tension in the ways in which women framed GBV; it was simultaneously positioned as pervasive and inevitable (‘everywhere’) and as something that took place in certain ‘risky’ venues and parts of town (‘over there’). In this sense, risk could be imagined as confined to particular ‘rough’ or ‘working-class’ areas in the city centre, yet at the same time, a degree of GBV was regarded as an embedded and normalized part of the entire mainstream nightlife scene. This normalization of GBV across the night-time economy may help to legitimize a broader spectrum of GBV and reinforce the idea that women should both expect and accept it in their daily lives.

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