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Safer Venues WA survey results puts the spotlight on harrasment

4 Dec

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Safer Venues WA is a newly established advocacy group that aims to improve the standards of inclusive and safe music and entertainment spaces in Perth.In August 2017, Safer Venues WA (SVWA) surveyed the Perth music community and industry, to gather  data on the extent and severity of harmful behavior such as harassment, intimidation, discrimination and assault in WA venues. 550 responses were received and identified widespread and ongoing occurrences of harassment and assault within Perth’s live music and entertainment venues and events.

 

67.5% of survey respondents have experienced harassment in a WA venue, disproportionately affecting 80.26% of female identifying respondents.Whilst 34.77% of respondents have experienced assault (sexual or violent) at least once.This raises concern about the number of unreported cases of harassment, intimidation, discrimination and assault.In terms of how people respond to such incidents, nearly half of respondents have left a music event after a negative experience with harassment or assault. Whilst only 32.3% would report the incident to a venue staff member and even less to security, it raises concern about the number of unreported cases of harassment, intimidation, discrimination and assault.

When asked what the respondents consider to be the “catalysts” for instances of harassment and assault, the overwhelming majority of respondents sited alcohol and the level of intoxication, closely followed by gender based discrimination.

1 in 2 respondents said the environment of the venue was a factor. When it comes to barriers to accessing Perth venues and music events, 62.9% respondents stated money (cost of entry) as their biggest barrier. Almost 1 in 5 respondents consider their personal safety before attending music events and venues in WA.

Venue reputation is a barrier to more than 1 in 4.  The survey listed music events inclusive of local line up gigs, nightclubs, acoustic gigs, residential gigs, raves, touring artists, music festivals, university events and pop up music spaces.

Safer Venues WA plans to use this data to shed light and spur change on the issues of harassment, intimidation, discrimination and assault in the WA music and entertainment industry. These issues are barriers not only to individual engagement, but to the greater music and nightlife in WA. Safer Venues WA hopes to work collaboratively with venues, punters, artists and industry to ensure that entertainment spaces are safer and more inclusive, for everyone to enjoy.

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Government of Western Australia Department of Culture and The Arts Australian Government

WAM is supported by the State Government through the Department of Culture and the Arts, and is assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.