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Training nightclub staff to deal with sexual harassment

During the past decade, the nightlife industry has been growing rapidly and, with it, so has its challenges.

One of which is sexual harassment. Sexual harassment in nightclubs and bars is a very common and very serious issue for both women and men alike.

According to the latest YouGov survey consisting of 2,013 participants between the ages of 18 and 24 in the European Union, around 72% had witnessed sexual assault during a night out, whether verbal or physical.

Sexual Harassment is especially present in bars, pubs, and clubs as most guests are under the influence of alcohol or other substances and therefore tend to act irrationally.

Unfortunately, such attacks have worryingly become the norm. Just last summer, over 40 cases of rape and sexual assault were reported in two Swedish music festivals – Bravalla and Putte I Parken.

A new project has been recently launched in Europe with the aim of drastically decreasing these numbers. They are hoping to achieve this by training nightclub staff on how to handle sexual violence.

The Addictology Clinic in Prague is conducting the first trial, which will include staff members from the UK, Portugal, and Spain. Results are expected to show in March 2019.

Another example of people making a conscious effort is in  Winterthur, a city in east Switzerland. Here, local club owners are taking things into their own hands by creating a code to help sexual assault victims.

The person concerned can go to any staff member and ask “Is Luisa there?” any time they feel unsafe or threatened.

So far there are more than ten engaged pubs, clubs, and bars, with more expected to follow.
In addition to that, they aim to spread their awareness campaign through stickers and posters, which will be visible in bathrooms. These will contain instructions on how to use the code and who to report to if in danger.

Thanks to the initiatives taken by people in Europe, an identical program already exists in Germany and results will be made public soon.

Working together in order to prevent sexual harassment is just the first step and a small one at that.

Only when everybody acknowledges the severity of sexual harassment and its destructive consequences can the dream of finally creating a completely safe space for clubbers be realized.