Access All Areas December 2021 - Page 47

WINTER 21 / 22 | FEATURE

often occurring at unregulated venues such as illegal parties and he says the organisation is addressing it as a societal problem : “ We all have a part to play whether you ’ re a police officer or whether you ’ re someone who highlights that there is someone that ’ s vulnerable in a venue . We need to attack this as a community .”
Another key concern , says Kill , is the transition from capturing someone doing the crime , safeguarding the victim , and ensuring that evidence is gathered appropriately so there is a smooth transition between the event operator and police : “ Without that consistency , it is going to prove very difficult , and we need the Home Office to help with that .”
Girls against Two organisations working to tackle the issue of women facing harassment
Strawberries and Creem festival
at live events by working with venues , promoters , artists and gig-goers are Safe Gigs for Women ( SGFW ) and Girls Against .
“ Our work primarily involves helping people to be confident active bystanders and intervene safely if they see someone being harassed or assaulted ,” says SGFW co-founder Mel Kelly . “ Live music is a community , and we can and should be able to look out for each other to prevent sexual violence in the first instance .”
Girls Against ’ s Ciara Johnson says it is essential for venues to create safe spaces and retrain staff to properly deal with cases of sexual assault : “ It ’ s also important to educate people on what to do if someone they know has been spiked in order to prevent any further harm coming to them . Basically , just looking out for each other and calling out suspicious behaviour is key .”
After a man was arrested following a woman being spiked at Warehouse Project , the founder of the 10,000-capacity venue , Sacha Lord , said the venue became the first to offer on-site urine tests to clubbers .
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and Lord , who is also the Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester , have committed to launching an anti-spiking partnership .
“ I ’ ve spent the last two weeks speaking with victims who have been spiked ,” Lord said on Twitter . “ Enough is enough . The industry needs to stand together and eradicate this evil .”
Another initiative is the Ask For Angela campaign , whereby someone feeling vulnerable can approach venue staff using the codeword “ Angela ” to seek help . It has been run across UK venues for the past five years and was recently relaunched by the Metropolitan Police . The NTIA has partnered with ordering and payment app Zapaygo to launch a feature within the app , so users can select Ask For Angela from a venue ’ s app menu , as simply as if they were ordering a drink .
A Women at Night Taskforce has also been created to address issues facing women , following the publication of a report by the Savenightlife CIC and Lady of the House groups . The report calls on events businesses and associated industry groups to sign up to a Women at Night Charter that includes commitments to improve the experience of women in the sector . It includes the results of a survey of 1,300 women – around 40 % of who were women who worked in the music , entertainment and leisure sectors . It revealed that 91.8 % did not feel the police force does enough to make women feel safer at night , while 84.7 % agreed that certain inappropriate
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