There's nothing worse than, on a fun-filled night out, being hassled by some drongo. Anti-street harassment campaign group Hollaback London have just launched Good Night Out, the first co-ordinated London-wide campaign that aims to tackle harassment in venues, pubs, bars and clubs.
London's two most celebrated clubs, Ministry Of Sound and Fabric have already signed up to the campaign.
Other venues that are already involved include Village Underground in Shoreditch, Dalston Superstore, Dance Tunnel and Birthdays, as well as pubs such as the Old Blue Last and the Shacklewell Arms.
Posters informing patrons of a zero-tolerance approach to harassment are now displayed in those venues, and Hollaback have been working with venue staff on how to deal with instances of harassment in venues.
“Groping, bum-slapping and sexually aggressive behaviour are all too common aspects of night outs in London,” said Julia Gray, co-director of Hollaback 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.”
“We’ve always had a zero tolerance harassment policy [at Fabric] 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,” said Kirsti Weir from Fabric. “It’s great that the Good Night Out campaign is a collaborative effort across London, and it’s something we fully support and endorse.”
Dan Beaumont, owner of Dalston Superstore and the recently opened Dance Tunnel, said: “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.”
Hollaback believe that harassment must be tackled head-on. “We’re challenging our night-time economy to create safer nights out for all their customers,” Julia said. “Taking on our up-front, co-ordinated approach means sending a public message that this behaviour won’t go unchallenged.”
DJ Mag also supports the Good Night Out initiative. It is unacceptable that people get intimidated on nights out when all they are trying to do is have a good time and maybe take in some good music.
Hollaback are encouraging people in London to tweet their experiences on #goodnightout so that they can ensure that the pledge is put into practice. More on Hollaback here