The 12-week trial, developed as a pilot program by a task force made up of Victorian Police, academics, government agencies and prominent figures in the live music industry. The goal is an end to what is a widespread, and too often unreported problem.
The program aims to change the complacency around the issue in venues. By training staff and patrons how to identity sexual assault, and more importantly how to respond to it.
The initiative will include posters and advertising material that will send a strong message of zero tolerance, while also promoting a reporting culture at gigs.
While there is no hard statistics to back up the program’s rationale, there is an overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence to suggest sexual harassment thrives in live venues.
Many victims do not bother to report incidents due to the ambiguous environment a packed venue presents. Crowds, while allowing perpetrators to slip away, also leave the victim with the belief they have no way of reporting what happened.
UNSW Academic Dr Bianca Fileborn says it leaves victims thinking they won’t be believed or won’t be taken seriously. Offences include being forced up against someone or being touched without permission.
Katie Peterson from the group LISTEN, who lobbied the Victorian Government to implement the taskforce, wants to see the program develop into a condition of licensing, as well as being part of private security training.
The initiative will be independently reviewed at the end of the trial and will be rolled out state-wide if successful.
The Corner Hotel, Richmond
Revolver Upstairs, Prahran
The Toff in Town, CBD
The Gasometer, Collingwood
The Croxton Bandroom, Thornbury
The Chelsea Heights Hotel, Chelsea Heights
The Workers Club, Geelong
Karova Lounge, Ballarat
Via Music Feeds.