As anyone who’s experienced it can attest, sexual harassment on the dancefloor is not only incredibly annoying and occasionally threatening, it’s also commonplace.
So annoying and commonplace, in fact, that London venues including Fabric, Ministry of Sound and Dance Tunnel have just signed up to a campaign aimed at making the city’s clubs, bars and pubs into harassment-free zones.
Organised by the London branch of the global Hollaback network, the Good Night Out campaign is calling on bars, clubs and venues to take a zero-tolerance attitude to harassment and send a message to patrons that bad behaviour won’t go unchallenged.
Julia Gray, co-director of Hollaback London, said: “Groping, bum-slapping and sexually aggressive behaviour are all too common aspects of nights out 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.
She added: “We’re challenging our nighttime economy to create safer nights out for all their customers.”
Venues that have signed up to Good Night Out include Village Underground, The Old Blue Last and Dalston nightspots Birthdays, The Alibi, Dalston Superstore, Dance Tunnel and the Shacklewell Arms.
Kirsti Weir from Fabric said: “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.”
Dan Beaumont, owner of Dalston Superstore and Dance Tunnel, added: “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.”
Clubbers are being invited to tweet their experiences in London’s venues with the hashtag #goodnightout – find out more about the campaign at the Good Night Out website.