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Organisations flock to join Newcastle scheme to end sexual harassment

A total of 23 Newcastle venues have so far joined an initiative to declare themselves ‘sexual harassment-free zones’, with the scheme’s first ever event promoter also joining the call.

Shout-Up!, which launched five years ago and is backed by Newcastle City Council, seeks to upskill those working in the night-time economy so they can identify sexual harassment and intervene safely. The number of Newcastle venues certified has more than doubled this year so far, with another 20 scheduled to complete the training by the end of 2022.

The programme is now going nationwide, with the first launch outside the region taking place in Northamptonshire this spring.

In addition to bars, clubs and other venues, Shout Up! has now been embraced by Newcastle event promoter Locally Sourced, and security personnel providers T3 Security and Phoenix Security, meaning Newcastle’s door staff are the first nationwide to have a consistent procedure for applying comprehensive bystander intervention training to all their interactions, and to have signed a pledge to demonstrate their commitment to the scheme.

The certification, which lasts for two years with six-monthly assessments, means all trained team members understand the impacts of sexual harassment on those who experience it, and know how to appropriately support and intervene to end incidents safely, ultimately working towards the elimination of sexual harassment from the city.

Peter Moore, Director of T3 Security said:

“We’re delighted to be able to take part in such an innovative initiative and hugely support the message behind the Shout Up! campaign.

“Violence against women has been an ongoing problem within the night time economy, and educating the security and hospitality staff that work in it about how to spot the signs and trigger points will provide much needed support in the ongoing fight to eradicate violence against women and provide a safer social experience.”

Late last year, the first 11 establishments to undertake the training were announced, but since then Alvinos, Tokyo, Empress Bar, Newcastle University Students’ Union, the Town Mouse Ale House and The Tyne Bar have also put all team members through the rigorous process, which includes having visible signage explaining their participation in the scheme and what patrons can expect to happen in the event of sexual harassment.

A further four establishments are currently working through the accreditation process.

Hollie Carr of The Tyne Bar added:

“The Shout-Up! campaign is a great thing to be part of as it gives those who work in the night time industry an in-depth look at the different forms of sexual harassment and how to deal with them. It has opened up the conversation within our staff and given them the knowledge they need.”

Dawn Bowman, spokesperson for Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland, which oversees Shout-Up! said:

“We’re proud of the long-term commitment that Newcastle City Council and our venues in Newcastle have made to creating change through Shout-Up! 

“Door supervisors are also key to making sure our venues provide safe spaces in which to party, so them joining Shout-Up! is an important step towards making our zero tolerance approach a reality, and demonstrating that safety is a collective responsibility. Together, we’re creating a world in which sexual harassment is no longer acceptable.”    

Any venue that wishes to become part of Shout Up! can find out more about joining at shoutup.org/venues.

Photo: Francesca Fisher, Empress Bar by Dawn McNamara Photography