Victoria has become the first state to establish a taskforce to address sexual harassment and assault in live music venues. Speaking last night on Triple J's Hack program, The Minister for Creative Arts and Minister for Equality Martin Foley revealed details of the training and awareness program that includes a pilot to be rolled out across a selection of, as yet unnamed, Victorian music venues.
The program is the result of a taskforce that includes members of LISTEN, SLAM (Save Live Australian Music), Music Victoria, and Victorian Police, that was convened in mid-2015. The taskforce's key suggestions include a policy template for identifying and responding to incidents of sexual harassment and assault, a venue training package, and advertising and awareness-raising materials.
Speaking to NOISEY, Katie Pearson from LISTEN says that the program aims to help guide venues on prevention methods. "It's about identifying problematic behaviours and the language around sexual harassment and sexual assault so venues understand what the issue is before there is an actual issue."
Pearson says that since the taskforce's announcement other states have been in contact. "Our aim is to deliver this program successfully with the music industry on board and venues really excited. We can then lend our material to other states who want to get involved."