Words: Dr. Rosemary Lucy Hill, University of Huddersfield.
Recently there has been increasing attention paid to sexual harassment, groping and assault at gigs, with groups like White Ribbon and Safe Gigs for Women running campaigns to highlight the issue. At the Universities of Huddersfield and Leeds we have seen the problem, and what can be done to prevent and respond to it. We have found that sexual harassment, groping and assault is being committed at gigs across a range of music genres, mostly by men. It causes grave harm to victim-survivors, mostly women, and puts them in immediate danger. It results in feelings of shock, fear, humiliation, violation, anger and powerlessness which can last for many years. It significantly reduces pleasure in the music, and can result in a withdrawal from music participation altogether.
Groping, harassment and assault must not be considered hazards of live music participation. Something can be done. It is everyone’s responsibility to take action.
Venues and promoters play a vital role in creating safer, healthier gigs. We recommend five things that venue managers and promoters can do to help prevent sexual harassment, groping and assault, and respond well to incidents when they do occur.
Further information and guidance on promoting safer music venues is available here.
About the Healthy Music Audiences research project, click here.
Image: Dr. Rosemary Lucy Hill, University of Huddersfield
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