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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.
Well, on Friday 7th,we’ll be launching a brand new campaign. It’s all about getting clubs, pubs, bars and venues to tackle and prevent harassment, keep an eye on the hashtag #goodnightout for details and check here.
Then, from Friday 7th from 8pm at ULU (Malet Street) we’ll be joining our Hollaback ULU (University of London Union) for an 80s Themed Good Night Out club night with feminist DJs at ULU.
On Saturday 8th we’ll be marching at Million Women Rise with thousands of other women to demand and end to violence against women and girls, to honour the memory of women killed by male violence and patriarchal systems of oppression and generally have a good old stomp/shout. Come with us and march in the #hollabloc ! Leaves from Duke St next to Selfridges at Midday, we’ll have hollabanners if you look out for us, or drop us a line on [email protected] if you want to get a number for us. FACEBOOK EVENT
Then on Sunday 9th, just when you thought it was all over we’ll be leading a Free Workshop at the WOWZERS Festival at LSE on Sunday. The workshop will be an informal, friendly safe space to discuss your experiences of street harassment, take on some of the myths, hear about the work we do and hear about how to get involved if you would like to volunteer with us. Here’s the Facebook event, grab a free ticket to WOWZERS in order to attend, and then come to a free feminist punk gig at Wowzers featuring the awesome WOOLF, Actual Crimes and many more!
Phew! Add yourselves to our mailing list to stay in touch about these events.
We’re excited to share our first video, which addresses common street harassment myths.
Let us know what you think!
PS. We’ve finally updated to a Facebook page also, so get at us on there if you have ideas for future videos, talks or events we can feature or if you’d like to host a workshop.
We’re excited to announce that we have been working with TfL and British Transport Police on Project Guardian, a groundbreaking campaign to address and change how unwanted sexual behaviour that happens on their networks is dealt with. This includes tubes, overground trains and buses. Today they went public in the Guardian and so after months of confidentiality we can finally talk about it!
Along with other women’s organisations, we have acted as a ‘critical friend’ to the working group, sitting on the advisory board alongside the End Violence Against Women Coalition and Everyday Sexism, helping to steer the project in the right direction. We’re honoured to be working so closely on such a game-changing piece of work.
While not all harassment is a crime under law, Project Guardian will encourage the reporting of every incident that contributes to the culture of fear faced by women and LGBTQ people, to get a real sense of the scale of the problem, so they can formulate policy based on lived experience. Research has been commissioned that involves real people, to get a better sense of what the barriers are. Again, this is hugely significant coming from an institution not exactly always applauded for believing victims. Project Guardian also sees the police acknowledging that this campaign will undoubtedly see the crime stats rocket as confidence in reporting increases, but the consequences of the latter make the inevitable ‘crime goes up’ headlines worth it.
Specific training on unwanted sexual behaviour has now been delivered to every single officer serving on the transport system (over 2000) and is being rolled out not only to TfL staff but to the employees of contracted bus services, encouraging them to play an active role in helping combat unwanted sexual behaviour on their buses.
We were unsure initially about engaging with the project due to our desire to remain independent both as activists and as a source of support that doesn’t tell people who experience harassment what they ‘should’ do. However, having met with the people working on the project, we have been repeatedly pleasantly surprised with how far-reaching and well-researched the rationale behind Project Guardian is. Ultimately we saw this as an opportunity to engage with law enforcement and transport authorities in a productive way, taking our years of learning and the voices on this site, and using them to influence and improve the city we live in.
The Project is ongoing and we will be updating you with regular bulletins about our work in helping to shape this.
Come to an evening of music and eating on Wednesday May 8th at GALLERY CAFE, BETHNAL GREEN a not-for-profit vegan/vegetarian volunteer-run cafe, to celebrate the launch of Langdon Olgar II, the Hollaback London publication, and to celebrate Three Years of challenging street harassment.
Playing live will be:
SISTERS [LISTEN HERE]
SHOPPING [LISTEN HERE]
Jaw-rattling post punk
FEATURE [LISTEN HERE]
Soul-shaking future jams
[This is also their EP launch!]
£5 entry gets you a copy of LOII on entry. There will be readings from the zine also.
Langdon Olgar is a publication about the body and public space. It sits somewhere between zine, journal and artist’s book in form, and includes work from interested parties across the gender spectrum including Tavi Gevinson, Jen Calleja, Barbara Hammer, Jes Skolnik, Judy Berman, R.M Phoenix and many others, as well as art and writing from the editors themselves, and design and layout by Jamie Reid. It is staple-bound, full colour, and was professionally risograph printed by our friends at Ditto Press.
The gig is also a fundraiser for a poster campaign we are gearing up for that specifically targets pubs and club management to engage with the task of making their businesses less creepy (see our work with Fabric: http://www.fabriclondon.com/harassment) We now want to roll this out across lots of pubs and clubs across the city, so any profit after costs will go towards the printing costs for that. WOO!