Nine live music venues across Victoria have signed on to a government-funded pilot program to help stamp out sexual assault and sexual harassment at gigs.
The $200,000 program will run for 12 weeks, and after those 12 weeks are up, an independent expert will assess what worked, what didn’t and how the program can be improved.
The venues taking part are:
- The Corner Hotel, Richmond
- Howler, Brunswick
- Revolver Upstairs, Prahran
- The Toff in Town, CBD
- The Gasometer, Collingwood
- The Croxton Bandroom, Thornbury
- The Chelsea Heights Hotel, Chelsea Heights
- The Workers Club, Geelong
- Karova Lounge, Ballarat
While there are no concrete statistics for sexual assault and harassment at concerts — partly because it’s an under-reported crime and there’s limited data on where assaults occur — there are an absolute ton of stories from alleged victims.
“We’re hearing from the live music industry that it is an issue and it’s certainly something that we want to tackle head on,” Marlene Kairouz, the Minister for Gaming and Liquor Regulation, told the ABC.
Victoria Police Senior Sergeant Brett Meadows also spoke about how important reporting these crimes are.
“People can be walking through venues, they’ll be groped, they spin around, they don’t know who it was,” he said.
“They don’t see the point in reporting it. Others are embarrassed by it. So most of the time it’s just not reported, which is why this particular project is so good.”