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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 12 September 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM TEN The prevalence of sexism in the music industry is out of control, and in this day and age it is completely unjustified. THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2015 17 FEATURE t against women at licensed music venues including the inclusion of a module on sexual harassment/ violence against women in the security training course. "There will be a long, detailed and well thought out policy to ensure the new measures will be effective, followed by an awareness campaign letting people know that women will now be safer," Marcou says. "The guidelines will be vetted and reviewed by a number of human rights and women's groups throughout the country, as well as lawyers." The collective anticipates that the implementation of future policy will result in a reduction in sexual harassment through educating potential perpetrators, creating a safer space for women at music events. Unfortunately, there is relatively little research conducted on this topic. However, the small body of research to date indicates that sexual harassment and sexual violence are a common, if not routine, experience for women in licensed venues. This is particularly so for sexual harassment. More generally, we know that sexual violence and sexual harassment are both common experiences for women in Australia. According to police and hospital records, most experiences of sexual harassment and violence in venues are likely to be under-reported. "Security guards and bar owners should be trained on how to handle the perpetrators and victims, on reporting complaints and incidents. "There will even be an anonymous app for victims to report to on the spot if they don't feel comfortable reporting to someone at the venue," Marcou adds. LISTEN contributor Dr Bianca Fileborn of La Trobe University addressed the issue of harassment in venues in a study last year. According to Dr Fileborn, "unwanted sexual attention is a significant problem faced by women - and occasionally men - going out in Melbourne". Dr Bianca Fileborn has conducted the only Australian study to date on sexual harassment and sexual violence in licensed venues. Her research with 252 young adults found that: - Of her 252 survey participants, 96 per cent thought unwanted sexual attention happens in licensed venues, and 80 per cent thought it was a common occurrence. - 87 per cent of the 148 female survey participants said that unwanted sexual attention impacts on how safe they feel in venues at least some of the time. - The women in this research reported experiencing a range of sexually harassing or violent behaviours, including staring, being followed, groping, unwanted verbal remarks, as well as sexual assault and rape. - Women were overwhelmingly the victims of sexual Helen Marcou harassment and sexual violence in licensed venues, and men were most commonly the perpetrators. "The majority of venue owners are men, but they are very keen on being involved and helpful," Marcou stresses. "Apart from the moral responsibility, most reasonable men want safe places for the women in their lives." * LISTEN is a volunteer collective of musicians and music industry professionals, including publicists, promoters, bookers, journalists, lawyers, academics, advocates, sound engineers, graphic designers, and arts administrators. The collective exists to cultivate conversation around women's experiences in Australian music, and is committed to education, advocacy and activism to aid the advancement of women and LGBTQ people in Australian music. For more information head to listenlistenlisten. org or connect with facebook.com/australiamusiclisten Statistics on sexual violence and harassment in Australia The 2012 Personal Safety Survey conducted by the ABS found that: - 17 per cent of women have been sexually assaulted since the age of 15 - Women aged 18-24 were more likely to have been sexually assaulted in Members of the LISTEN group. the past year compared to other age groups. - 48 per cent of women aged 18 and over had experienced at least one kind of sexual harassment. - 98 per cent of perpetrators of sexual harassment were men. Little Desert’s vocalist Esther Rivers performs live at the LISTEN party. PHOTO: ELI NIGOL PHOTOGRAPHY.
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