Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland have teamed up with Safe Newcastle to launch a new campaign that is aimed at raising awareness of sexual violence and harassment in pubs, clubs and venues across the city.
The campaign – Shout Up! – will launch on December 9th and work with venues across the city to train staff, raise public awareness and stamp out sexual violence and harassment. The campaign aims to deliver a safer place for women and men to enjoy themselves across the city.
The campaign will focus on bystander intervention by making the venues and patrons collectively responsible for the safety of women by recognising sexually aggressive behaviour. Recent research* demonstrates spend per person increases when a venue adopts a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and creates safer spaces for patrons.
The campaign objectives are to:
- Support victims to report sexual violence or harassment and make it the responsibility of everyone in the venue
- Heighten awareness of sexual violence, with the hope that it can be prevented
- Encourage pub, club and bar-goers to consider their moral responsibility and approach to harassment
- Encourage venues and patrons to understand the impact of sexual violence and harassment on patrons, the venue and the wider night-time economy
The campaign has three main focuses of activity over the next year, covering Ouseburn, City Centre venues, Jesmond and Gosforth. Staff members at each participating venue will receive free training delivered by experts from Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland which will equip them with the skills to intervene, listen and support vulnerable patrons.
Eight ambassador venues have been invited to be part of the initial phase of the scheme launching in time for the festive season and they are The Cluny, The Cumberland Arms, The Ship Inn, Tyne Bank Brewery, The Tyne Bar, Ernest, The Tanners Arms and Kiln.
Dawn Bowman, from Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland, said, “We’re hugely encouraged by the support our ambassador venues have already shown in embracing Shout-Up! It’s important for us all that our bars, pubs and clubs are safe for everyone, men and women, to attend, enjoy and be merry! But the fact remains, that 1 in 4 women will experience sexual violence, and therefore, there is always more work to be done. The fact that well-known venues in Newcastle recognise this and are striving to be better is a testament to the proprietors of those venues. Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland will be delivering specialist training to the venue staff so that they understand the impact of sexual harassment on their patrons, and will upskill them in how to react appropriately.”
Joanne Hodson, General Manager of The Cumberland Arms said, “As a woman in this industry I take this topic very seriously. I pride myself on running a business where women feel comfortable coming and having a drink on their own, or with friends, without any worry of harassment. I am in full support of this scheme and look forward to seeing it roll out across the city.”
Sophie Burton of the Tyne Bank Brewery said, “Of course we are 100% behind this initiative, as a venue, we have always been committed to creating a safe space for all of our patrons; and so when the experts tell us there is more to be done, we sit up and pay attention! Shout-Up is for the good of the whole bar and club scene, we’re happy to be involved.”
Councillor Nick Kemp, chair of Safe Newcastle: “This is a really important campaign and one that Safe Newcastle is full behind. We have a thriving night-time economy in Newcastle and it is important that everyone can enjoy themselves without the fear of sexual harassment or violence. The training for the individual staff at each venue will equip them with the knowledge and understanding to spot the signs and prevent sexual harassment and also support any victims whilst they are out. I think this is a really vital step for the city and I am looking forward to the campaign working and developing over the next 12 months.
Further sign up will be encouraged from other venues for each phase of the project as it progresses into 2018.
Follow the campaign on social media: Twitter @ShoutUp_NCL