Athens GA, Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbia MO, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Duke University, NC, Durham & Chapel Hill, East Lansing, Flagstaff, AZ, Houston, Iowa City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Lubbock TX, Manhattan KS, Muncie IN, New Orleans, New York City, Oneonta, Pittsburgh, Plattsburgh, Providence, Richmond VA, San Fernando Valley, San Francisco, Twin Cities, West Georgia (University)
This week, I (Bryony) sat on the Policing and Crime panel at the London Assembly, whose role it is to scrutinise and look at the efficacy of City Hall policy, alongside End Violence Against Women Coalition, London Travel Watch, the former head of BTP and Suzy Lamplugh Trust. I was able to explain to them the joy but also some of the frustrations we have had in watching Project Guardian’s progress over the last few years, since we were invited to sit on the advisory board in 2012. I asked assembly members for support in our continued lobbying for some kind of public, real world, network-based messaging about sexual offences on public transport.
We have really put the work in to represent women and LGBT people who experience harassment, and share their concerns in a whole host of different contexts, from executive roundtables at the Department for Transport, to British Transport Police presentations, academic conferences, BBC London, BBC News and more regional radio shows than you can name. We’ve worked a lot wih Dr. Jackie Gray at Middlesex University, whose team created a rapid impact assessment looking at every study of every intervention on public transport aimed at reducing. Entitled ‘“What works” in reducing sexual harassment and sexual behaviour on public transport Nationally and Internationally“, the report showed that, amongst a plethora of other useful measures, including better design of carriages and bus stops, poster awareness campaigns do help passenger to feel safer.
The rapid impact assessment was commissioned by BTP, and yet this evidence base seems to have been brushed over by TfL. The social media work has already been very successful, see the recent 32.2% increase in recorded sexual offences on public transport, but the recognition of the campaign is still so low amongst women I speak to about harassment every day.
Earlier this year, the Report it to Stop it video was launched. This excellent, hard-hitting video showed an incident on the tube, and asked viewers when they would report. It made plain the self-doubt and the fear that can contribute to underreporting of harassment and assault, and gave a real world example that didn’t stereotype. It was really effective:
But this video only appears as a digital ad targeted at 18-35 year old women. We believe that everyone, including men and children (we know that school journeys are often the site of sexual harassment for young girls) should receive these messages, and more importantly, we believe they need to appear ON BUSES, TRAINS AND TUBES!
Just as TfL is happy to share messages that assaults on staff on trains will be taken seriously, it does this on the trains where it can happen, not on Youtube! Messages about pickpocketing are considered important enough to appear on buses, trains, trams, so why not sexual assault?
I put these questions to TfL Communications department team earlier this year, over three years since my involvement on the advisory board of Project Guardian. Clearly this is a very carefully constructed campaign, and I was reassured that it is long term and that methods could change, but was also told that there were currently no plans to take the message beyond the social media world, largely due to two key concerns:
That a message that mentions sexual offences may put women off using the network
The issue of fear of crime reducing travel is an understandable issue for TfL, of course, and this fear comes from a respondent at a focus group who, when shown a poster from an American city, said it would put her off travelling. We know this because we helped the market research company to write the questions! The video is awesome and has had some brilliant feedback, so let’s get it out there on the network now, instead of just hoping that women will not have Ad-block installed and may see a video online and make the effort to save 61016 in their phone.
All of these hours of research and work has been unpaid, because I want my city to be safer. It’s time to ask #wherearetheposters. Take a selfie on public transport, wherever you are, and use the hashtag #wherearetheposters if you believe women and LGBT deserve safety while travelling.
An AMAZING lineup at CLEAR LINES Festival next week, make sure you head down. It’s free!
Clear Lines Festival brings together comedians, performers, journalists, writers, visual artists, cartoonists, psychologists, activists, therapists, and the public in a vibrant, very human exploration of themes around sexual abuse, sexual violence, and consent.
Festival highlights include:
• Activists from Southall Black Sisters, Femme Fierce and the #thisdoesntmeanyes campaign discussing the use of creativity in challenging sexual violence
• Journalists from the BBC and Telegraph debating media coverage of sexual assault, and how reporting can be improved
• Screenings of the BAFTA-nominated ‘The Unspeakable Crime: Rape’ and Emmy-nominated documentary ‘Brave Miss World’, followed by director Q&As
• A stellar line-up of comedians poking fun at some of our cultural attitudes about rape and sexuality, including Josie-Long, Sarah Kendall and Tiff Stevenson
• Discussion of revenge porn and online harassment by experts from the international law firm McAllister Olivarius
It’s the UK’s first-ever festival of this kind, and we have an ambitious and exciting programme. Everyone is welcome to attend. Most events are free but booking is required as space is limited.
– Laura Bates from Everyday Sexism Project
– Emily May, executive director of HollaBack!
– Susuana Antubam, NUS National Women’s Officer, discussing the fight against sexual violence on campus
– Samayya Afzal, UBU Women’s Liberation Officer on Muslim Women’s perspectives of Street Harassment
– A speaker from the Sex Worker Open University on Stigma in the Streets, Worker’s Rights between the Sheets: Sex workers in public space
– Hollaback! site leaders from around the world putting these issues into local context, from the Bahamas to New Orleans and beyond!
– A one-off special interactive musical performance from Richard Phoenix and Jennifer Calleja of London post-punk band Sauna Youth.
On June 23rd, let’s take the conversation to the next level at the first ever international HOLLA::Revolution event in London!
This evening event kindly hosted at the Amnesty International Human Rights Centre will see leading thinkers and activists in the field expand the definitions of street harassment and discuss what each of us can, and is doing, do to create real on-the-ground change in our communities.
Confirmed speakers and performers include:::
– Laura Bates from Everyday Sexism,
– Emily May, executive director of HollaBack!
– Susuana Antubam, NUS National Women’s Officer
– Hollaback! site leaders from around the world putting issues in their local context, from the Bahamas to New Orleans and beyond!
– Bryony Beynon and Julia Gray, discussing Hollaback London, our advisory work on Project Guardian and the Good Night Out Campaign
A one off special interactive musical performance from Richard Phoenix and Jennifer Calleja of Sauna Youth
+ Lots more!
Tickets are free for students/youth eighteen and under, reserve one here:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hollarevolution-london-tickets-16358097510
Tickets for adults/organisations are pay what you can (donations can be given at the door).
Any questions about the event can be sent to: [email protected]
We look forward to seeing you there and for a drink afterwards!
On January 20th 2015 we’ll be speaking at a FREE event in Camden that’s all about Challenging Violence Against Women and Girls on Public Transport, along with:
Claire Perry MP (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport)
Bryony Beynon (Co-Director – Hollaback London)
Inspector Ricky Twford (British Transport Police – Project Guardian)
Dr. Jackie Gray (Middlesex University – Reducing sexual offences on Public Transport)
Reni Eddo-Lodge (Writer & journalist)
Since being invited to sit on the advisory board of Project Guardian, the TfL and BTP initiative to address unwanted sexual behaviour on buses, trains and tubes, we’ve heard from hundreds of women and LGBT+ people about their experiences, and researched how this problem is tackled across transit systems around the world. We’ll be presenting what we know and what we think needs to happen next, so come along to share your experiences and debate the issues an ask the panel questions!
Registration is FREE but you’ll need to sign up here.
DATE: Tuesday 20th January 2015
TIME: 10.45 to 13.00 (with lunch provided 13.00-14.00)
Registration on the day: from 10.30 onwards
25 Camden Road, London NW1 9LN
The event forms part of the government’s Women’s Engagement Programme and is one of a series of regional consultation events with women across the UK. Ahead of the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action – a framework of commitments on women’s rights – these events are an opportunity to have your say on the progress being made to improve the lives of women and girls in the UK and what the priorities should be for further action.
Back in June, our friend Sarah from the End Violence Against Women Coalition introduced us to Councillor Radha Burgess. Radha had been elected as a local councillor in Southwark, and had pledged to do something about women’s safety across the borough, especially on nights out.
After lots of discussion over a period of months about the issues involved, we were really happy to see that Southwark take harassment seriously and are ready to recognise the scale of the problem without flinching. We were able to share our knowledge and experience of discussing harassment with venues and having built Good Night Out from scratch – our national UK and Ireland wide nightclub safety campaign. We partnered with Southwark on to create a local equivalent – The Women’s Safety Charter. WSC launched this week, check out this coverage in The Independent, The Telegraph, Huffington Post and The Daily Mail (watch out for the awful stock photos on that last link!) Here’s the video news report from BBC London.
1. Prominently display high-visibility posters in the venue which discourage harassment and encourage reporting
2. To take every report of harassment and sexual intimidation seriously and take appropriate action
3. To take active steps to support persons who report harassment or sexual intimidation which might take place in their premises
4. To train all front of house staff to address women’s safety and harassment
5. To take active steps to ensure women leave the venue safely
As well as consulting on the posters and reporting, our main role has been to deliver our practical and empowering training workshops to licensed premises across the borough on the issue of sexual harassment.
Building on our Good Night Out training, which has already been provided to nearly a hundred venues across the UK and Ireland, the bespoke Women’s Safety Charter training increases confidence amongst both staff and punters to deal with, tackle and prevent harassment.
The training uses principles of empowerment from our work in the VAWG sector and applies them to the issues faced by the nighttime economy. It’s also about providing a judgement-free space for staff to discuss their own experience with managers, ensuring that they feel comfortable in making use of these approaches on shifts every day.
You can see the every expanding list of pubs, clubs, venues and bars signed up in London here.
Good Night Out is the first ever coordinated national action around safety on nights out – calling on bars, pubs, venues and clubs to improve their safety policies by signing a pledge and undergoing staff training, with extra advice and support available. We have a brand new website here which tells you more.
Good Night Out has now launched nationally with regional organisers hard at work across the UK and Ireland in Sheffield, Edinburgh, Norwich and Norfolk, Bristol, Glasgow, Nottingham, Brighton, Galway, Limerick, and the Medway towns in Kent, with more cities signing up every day! Lots of these are existing Hollaback teams bringing GNO to their towns and cities.
Venues undergo specialist Good Night Out training thats practical and focussed on how to respond to harassment and avoid victim blaming, and displaying customised posters with the pledge:
We’re now 69% of the way there with our crowdfunding. As an independent and unfunded campaign run by volunteers around the UK and Ireland and surviving on donations, we REALLY need this cash so we can make an impact in the coming year.
With this money, we’ll print customised posters, pay our graphic designer and web design volunteers, improve our website and maybe even be able to MEET some of our regional organisers instead of just Skyping! We’ll continue to build on our partnerships and push this issue right up the agenda.
Today we launched a crowd-funding page to raise £5000 to bring Good Night Out, our anti-harassment campaign to cities around the UK and Ireland. Watch the campaign video and find out more here.
The first ever coordinated national action around safety on nights out from Hollaback London – the Good Night Out campaign calls on bars, pubs, venues and clubs to improve their safety policies by signing a pledge and undergoing staff training, advice and support.
Good Night Out will launch nationally during Fresher’s Week 2014 in Sheffield, Edinburgh, Oxford, Bristol, Glasgow, Nottingham, Brighton, Galway, Limerick, and the Medway towns in Kent, with more cities signing up every day.
Piloted in London since March, venues in London including fabric, The Old Blue Last, Birthdays, Village Underground, University of London, Dance Tunnel, Dalston Superstore, The Lexington and more have already signed up to the campaign, undergoing the Good Night Out training and displaying posters with the pledge: “If something or someone makes you feel uncomfortable, no matter how minor it seems, you can speak to any member of staff who will work with you to make sure it doesn’t have to ruin your night.”
Tyvian Vigrass, Operations Manager at Village Underground in Shoreditch says of the campaign: ”Having been in the industry for over 20 years it’s refreshing to still be able to learn valuable skills and techniques when dealing with sensitive issues such as those brought to our attention by Good Night Out. This valuable insight to such an important but sometimes overlooked issue was unanimously applauded by the staff team, and we are proud to be a supporter of Good Night Out and their campaign to raise awareness among staff and punters in late night establishments.”
Bryony Beynon, co-director of the campaign, says “Since launching in March we’ve been overwhelmed by support for the campaign from London’s night-time economy, who’ve sent a clear message to their punters that whether it’s sleazy comments, groping, leering, sexual assault or homophobic attacks, harassment will not be tolerated. The message from the rest of the country is loud and clear – they want this! We’ve created a UK and Ireland-wide network of organisers ready to end this kind of behaviour for good. We’ve already achieved big things with zero funding, and have the experience and knowledge to make this modest amount of cash go very far.”
Find out more about the Good Night Out Campaign and donate at http://igg.me/at/goodnightout
If you’re a venue or are interested in bringing the campaign to your area, get in touch!
It’s been an amazing week! Our Good Night Out campaign launched on Friday 7th, so we worked from a variety of coffee-serving locations sending out press releases and talking to journalists. Susuana of Hollaback ULU (pictured) threw an awesome launch party with feminist DJs and giant heads.
Posters have been going up around in our launch supporter venues around the city and we already have some interest from more venues to get on board!
We were up bright and early on Saturday for the Million Women Rise march and rally, which was incredibly inspiring. On Sunday we gave a workshop at the brilliant Wowzers Festival, where, as with every time we run a workshop, we learnt something new about the diversity of ways that gender, race and sexuality intersect when it comes to street harassment.
It’s been great to see how positive the response to Good Night Out has been so far. Check out these stories in:
The Guardian (Sexual harassment is normal in clubs but are things about to change?)
Evening Standard (Reclaiming the streets from London’s leches – check it our in print too)
We also had words in Dazed Digital and The Quietus, Dj Mag, The Debrief, Resident Advisor, FACT Magazine , Mixmag, Wildtimes, The Ransom Note and Dalstonist, and more coming soon in Time Out and the NME.
The social media response has been amazing too:
Julia and myself (Bryony) have been running Hollaback London as volunteer activists (just like all the other Hollaback sites around the world) for almost four years, we receive no funding for this work and are always keen to hear of ideas to fundraise so we can continue doing it, so get in touch if you’d like to help support us.
If you’re a venue thats interested in becoming part of #goodnightout please email us first to find out how the process works: [email protected]
· The first ever London-wide campaign to end sexual harassment on nights out launches today, backed by some of London’s most high profile venues including Ministry of Sound and fabric.
· Posters informing patrons of zero-tolerance approach now displayed in bars, clubs and venues across the city with staff resources provided by anti-harassment group Hollaback London
Julia Gray, co-director of Hollaback London, says “Groping, bum-slapping, and sexually aggressive behaviour are all too common aspects of night outs in London. We started this campaign because so many women and LGTBQ people submit stories of harassment and even assault in clubs and pubs to our website; and these experiences are now so commonplace that they’re actually putting people off going out altogether. We’re challenging our nighttime economy to create safer nights out for all their customers. Taking on our up-front, coordinated approach means sending a public message that this behaviour won’t go unchallenged. We’re completely independent and are encouraging everyone to tweet their experiences on #goodnightout so we can ensure the pledge is put into practice.”
Endorsed by End Violence Against Women Coalition and Everyday Sexism, Good Night Out signatories working closely with Hollaback London on their harassment policies already include:
– Shoreditch arts venue Village Underground
– The Alibi, Dalston Superstore, Dance Tunnel and the Shacklewell Arms.
Kirsti Weir from fabric says ““We’ve always had a zero tolerance harassment policy and we’ve been working with Hollaback London to boost our patrons’ awareness of our commitment to stamping it out with our online campaign and highly visible posters. It’s great that the Good Night Out campaign as a collaborative effort across London and it’s something we fully support and endorse.”
Auro Foxcroft, Director, Village Underground says: “We’re supporting Hollaback London and the Good Night Out initiative because we want everyone from the many communities and audiences we work with to feel comfortable and safe from harassment and prejudice.”
Dan Beaumont, owner of Dalston Superstore and the recently opened Dance Tunnel says: “We have worked hard over the years to ensure we’re welcoming in a gay-friendly crowd, so we already operate a zero-tolerance aggressive behaviour policy. Good Night Out and its message chime perfectly with this, so it’s great to see more venues taking this approach.”
Sarah Green from End Violence Against Women Coalition says “This is a brilliant campaign by Hollaback London and we congratulate all the bars and clubs who have signed up for recognising the issues and taking a stand. We asked YouGov to survey London women in 2012 about their experiences of sexual harassment in public places and found that almost half of younger women had experienced it in the last year. Clubs and pubs have a critical role to play in making their spaces intolerant of this behaviour. We wish the campaign every success.”
Any business that is part of the nighttime economy is welcome to sign up for Good Night Out to receive poster series and discuss staff resources and training.