News February 18, 2019

New initiative to make WA venues safer for women

New initiative to make WA venues safer for women

A new WA government initiative is focussed on making women at music venues or events feel safer from being harassed or intimidated.

It has committed 60,000 over three years to Safer Venues WA to initiate female safety action.

Safer Venues WA chair Rose Kingdom-Barron said harassment was “rife in many venues and events.

“Part of the problem is that many people are not educated on what constitutes harassment or assault.”

She added, “The support from the (music) industry has been super encouraging and we can’t wait to get to work.”

Safer Venues WA will use the money initially on venue staff training, more female security, posters warning against harassment, and increased security cameras.

The $60,000 announcement was made yesterday (Sunday) at The Bird club in Northbridge as part of the state government’s $3 million injection into WA’s contemporary music sector over the next four years.

Women’s interests minister Simone McGurk said, “This is an issue that young women, particularly, raise with me often so it is important that we create safer spaces for women to enjoy nightlife and live music.”

Culture and the arts minister David Templeman pointed out that in a survey conducted by Safer Venues WA,  “67% of respondents had experienced harassment in a WA venue, 80% of whom were women.

“This is not acceptable.”

The study also showed two in 5 women leave a gig after an incident, while half are as likely to stay with friends than report it to security.

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