103 festivals commit to tackling harassment and sexual violence

Over 100 festivals have signed as much as the Safer Areas marketing campaign (Image: PA/Shutterstock)

Festivals are areas to have enjoyable, really feel fully free and get misplaced within the music. 

Or a minimum of, they need to be. 

Sadly, sexual violence and harassment are all too widespread actuality at festivals.

In 2018, a YouGov survey discovered that one in 5 festival-goers had skilled sexual assault or harassment at a UK competition. 

This mirrors analysis from the British Academy, which discovered that ​​a few third of ladies say that they had skilled sexual harassment at a competition. 

In the meantime, 8% had been sexually assaulted at a competition throughout the earlier 12 months, in comparison with 1% of males. 

It’s clear that one thing must be completed to ensure everybody has a superb time, free from harassment. 

The Affiliation of Impartial Festivals is making an attempt to just do that, with their Safer Areas At Festivals Marketing campaign that has simply been relaunched. 

As of as we speak, 103 UK festivals have dedicated to the pledge, together with Boomtown Truthful, Boardmasters, Studying & Leeds, Bluedot, Parklife and Shambala. 

They’ve dedicated to an up to date constitution of finest practices that has been developed with enter and steering from specialists at Rape Disaster England And Wales, Good Evening Out, Secure Gigs For Girls, Women In opposition to and UN Girls.  

The main target is on survivors, and making a secure surroundings for audiences, performers, and staff. 

AIF Membership & Operations Coordinator Phoebe Rodwell stated: ‘Festivals are microcosms of society and sexual violence is a problem that persists in our society. Our understanding and approaches to tackling the issue are evolving all the time.’   

Pageant goers need to really feel secure (Image: Getty Photographs)

She continued: ‘That’s why it’s necessary that we renew the Safer Areas marketing campaign in 2022 with up-to-date messaging, assets and practices, to forestall sexual violence and promote a survivor-led strategy, serving to competition organisers to fulfil their obligation of care at occasions.’

The constitution stipulates that each one allegations of sexual harassment, assault and violence be taken critically, which means there’s a dedication to investigating and a straightforward route for reporting.

The latter is extremely necessary provided that, in response to analysis from Rape Disaster, 5 in six girls who’re raped don’t report it to Police. The identical is true for 4 in 5 males. 

‘Festival goers deserve to know that if they report sexual assault they will be listened to and believed, and that those working on site are equipped to handle all reports with knowledge and empathy,’ stated Kelly Bennaton, media and communications officer at Rape Disaster England and Wales. 

She continued: ‘They also deserve to know that festivals are taking a proactive approach in preventing sexual assault, and that abusive behaviour will not be tolerated. We’re happy to have labored with AIF on growing this constitution, and hope that the broader competition business will observe its lead.’

Danielle Vincent, senior affiliate of the abuse group at Hugh James Solicitors tells ‘Sadly, sexual, and bodily assaults in opposition to people at festivals should not unusual.  

‘Consent is ongoing, and this have to be prevalent with any engagement with one other throughout sexual exercise. A person should have the capability to consent. consent could be verbal or nonverbal.  

‘It’s fully mistaken to suppose when you have been intoxicated or maybe carrying sure clothes, that their allegations won’t be believed. This thought course of have to be squashed. There aren’t any grounds or justifications that enable one other to assault you.

‘Guilt, upset and shame are all emotions sadly some assault survivors can suffer which prevent disclosure and reporting and much awareness needs to be raised about this, that there is no blame to the assault survivor.’

Danielle additionally means that sexual assault coaching be given to all employees or designated safeguarding officers on-site throughout the competition.

The AIF’s constitution may even embody suggestions from Proper to Be for being an energetic bystander, which incorporates the ‘5 D’s’: Direct, Delegate, Distract, Doc and Delay.  

As a part of the dedication, festivals will share key messaging – together with training on the ideas of consent – on social media and thru indicators throughout the competition web site. 

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