With organisations including the AIF tackling the issue of sexual harassment and assault at festivals, TTK Welfare and PARCS (Portsmouth Abuse and Rape Counselling Service) have given practical actions for organisers.
PARCS is working with TTK Welfare to give a clear message that any kind of abuse will be not be condoned or tolerated. PARCS advocates of the Bystander Model, which encourages the community to take ownership of sexual violence as a problem and to speak up when they are concerned about abuse or witness potentially abusive situations. PARCS believes this approach is particularly relevant to festivals as it supports the notion that everyone can play an active role in preventing sexual abuse and harassment.
PARCS and TTK aim to build momentum on the awareness raised about this widespread issue, starting a training day, one of many planned events.
The session, which took place on 8 February included anecdotal reports that festivals are unwilling to put their name behind sexual abuse and harassment related campaigns for fear of negative press.
Tiger Tea Events / TTK Welfare’s manager Linda Krawecke, who is spearheading the initiative, told Access: “We want to raise awareness that there are tents available at many festivals that provide safe spaces where people who have experienced a sexual assault or any form of sexual harassment can talk to professionals. We’re also calling for more of a unified approach from festivals, whose staff and suppliers can be vital in spotting and preventing incidents. There are the various contractors and suppliers talking with the promoters and production people about how to keep an event safe for all. I think we will see more actions taken to promote respect for each other at events.”