Taskforce To Address Sexual Harassment

The state government of Victoria, Australia, has green-lighted a taskforce to address incidences of sexual assault and harassment of women in licensed venues and music festivals. 
Save Live Music Australia

“Incidents of sexual assault and harassment of women in licensed venues and at music festivals is a significant problem and one which needs to be addressed promptly, particularly in order to create safe spaces for women in licensed venues,” said Jane Garrett, minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming and Liquor Regulation.

The taskforce is expected to include police, venue operators, liquor licensing and health authorities, the live music sector and activist groups including Save Live Music Australia (SLAM) and LISTEN, which is made up of 1,650 women from all sectors of the Melbourne biz.

It will come up with best practice guidelines expected to define what constitutes sexual harassment and sexual assault, and look at options of an education campaign, better staff training at venues, and more female security team members.

SLAM co-founder Helen Marcou told Pollstar, “Most women accept that being harassed is part of going out to a club, and assume that reporting being groped will not be taken seriously. Women performers are also reluctant to report anything in case it gets the venue in trouble.”

Research published by Dr. Bianca Fileborn of La Trobe University found that 96.6 percent surveyed agreed unwanted sexual attention happened in licensed venues and 80.2 percent considered it common.

The taskforce’s recommendations will eventually also be applied to protect those in the gay community.