Awareness campaign against sexual abuse in nightclubs

During the summer of 2022, 112, the National Police Commissioner’s Office, and the Ministry of Justice conducted an awareness campaign against sexual abuse in nightclubs.

This awareness campaign was launched because the number of reported rapes decreased considerably when COVID-19 gathering restrictions were at their most. According to figures from the National Police Commissioner’s Office, a high proportion of rapes reported to police occur during the weekend, from Friday until Sunday, especially between midnight and 6 in the morning.

In 2020 gathering restrictions were at their strictest and nightlife activities minimal. During that period, the number of reported rapes decreased by 43% compared to the average between 2017 and 2019. The number of reported rapes increased again in 2021 when gathering restrictions were relaxed for part of that year. Changes to restrictions therefore had a definite impact on the reported rate of rape.

The awareness campaign calls on everyone to be vigilant for those who inflict sexual harassment and abuse. Public participation makes a big difference. With a coordinated societal effort we can considerably reduce the leeway people have to commit abuse. Every individual can make a big impact within small communities such as workplaces, friend groups and so on.

In connection with this awareness campaign, a training program was put together for nightclub and event staff on how to recognize and respond to sexual abuse. The training is organized and carried out by Ofbeldisforvarnaskólinn. You can find the latter part of the training here. Ofbeldisforvarnaskólinn conducts the first part of the training in collaboration with event organizers and we encourage all to contact Ofbeldisforvarnarskólinn and book the training.

How can we make an impact on sexual abuse?

Those who inflict sexual harassment and abuse are always the root of the problem, but it is difficult to reach them. Many are not listening and others do not understand that they are part of the problem. What has worked well in the past is engaging the community in setting and maintaining boundaries.

The bystander approach that is taught is a tried and tested methodology that engages those who witness unacceptable behaviour. The training is actually leadership training, as participants are given the tools to tackle abuse in a safe way when it comes up.

The material aims to deepen your understanding of the material and help you to think through a few examples so that you are prepared if you need it.

Prevention of sexual abuse

Abuse can fester within our culture if it is left unchallenged.

More on sexual harassment and abuse

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is when someone oversteps sexual boundaries.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse is when someone touches you inappropriately or sexually, or forces you to perform a sexual act against your will. Sexual harassment with words or action is also abuse.


Nobody has the right to force another person to do something sexual against their will. Having sex with another person without consent is rape.