Unfortunately, unwanted sexual behaviour is becoming a normal part of a night out for women, with many reporting they experience anything from inappropriate comments to groping and sexual assault.
Now, one local venue has had enough, taking to Facebook yesterday following a serious incident that took place at the local live music venue only days prior.
As stated in the post, the venue has previously participated in initiatives to discourage this behaviour including the Victorian government campaign ‘Band Together’ which saw nine of Victoria’s best known live music venues (including Workers) come together to curb the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment in venues, as well as the Stand Up – Don’t Stand By campaign which saw Women’s Health and Wellbeing Barwon South West (WHWBSW) partnering with the best night life venues in Geelong during the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence to raise awareness of common forms of sexual harassment experienced in venues.
Not only do these campaigns aim to discourage the behaviour, but also send a strong message of zero tolerance of this culture at gigs, which builds on the 2017 ‘Your Choice’ campaign. Created by a collective of Australian festivals, musicians, venues, promoters and record labels, ‘Your Choice’ in an attempt to address the growing cultural issues around behaviour and lack of personal accountability within Australian venues and event spaces with the aim of helping everyone have a fun and safe time at gigs.
Seeking to raise awareness of ongoing safety issues, as well as everyone’s personal responsibilities at live events, the goal of Your Choice is to similarly help influence a culture of positive behaviour through shared responsibility – together as industry organisers and patrons attending.
If you’re a regular at any local live music venue, festival or gig, you might have noticed this campaign which is still slowly doing its bit by calling on all music fans and industry representatives to adopt a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to bad behaviour at shows.
For some reason though, it still doesn’t appear to be getting through to everyone. It’s still happening. But enough is enough.
And that’s where The Workers Club Geelong have taken their stand. They’re right; the times have changed. They took on these initiatives, implemented them into their business operations, and created a safe space with a strict zero tolerance policy for this type of behaviour.
To raise awareness, they’ve created some merch (see below) to help spread this message, with all proceeds being donated to NOW Australia, a non-profit, non-partisan organisation established as a response to the #metoo global movement. This organisation helps people across all industries who have been sexually harassed, assaulted or intimated at work to understand their rights and support options.
It’s time. It’s time to join those like the Workers Club and make some noise to end harassment in live music venues.
We’ll stand beside them… will you?
Pre-order your aptly named ‘Don’t Be A Dick’ tee here.
If you’re seeking support or advice, contact 1-800-RESPECT (1800 737 732) or the Australian Human Right’s Commission’s National Information Service on 1-300-656-419 or 029284988.
If you have been assaulted, 1800RESPECT is staffed by trauma-informed counsellors who can provide 24-hour support for people impacted by sexual assault and abuse.