Girls Against: groping at gigs is a serious offence

Girls Against are a female collective campaigning to fight sexual harassment at gigs and in live music venues.

My name is Bea and I’m 19 years old. At the moment I’m a student at Sussex University and live in Brighton, but I’m from North London. I love music and going to gigs, and I used to do synchronised swimming for 10 years, which I miss a lot.

We are a campaign fighting against sexual harassment at gigs

We offer help to victims and aim to raise awareness, and create a discussion within the industry about sexual assault. We also talk about other social and political issues. We started in 2015 when a group of us shared our experience of sexual assault at gigs. We decided that something needed to be done, and set up a twitter page and went from there!

We encourage girls to report incidents of sexual harassment

If someone feels confident and comfortable sharing their experience, we urge people to tell security or someone they trust to bring more awareness to the fact that the issue is happening. We are, however, aware that security are often guilty of shrugging the issue off, and not being extremely helpful. We are working on a solid safety plan to try and change this. For now, we remind people to stay together and to look out for each other in the crowd. If you feel uncomfortable, tell someone and move away.

Groping at gigs is a serious offence and falls within the bracket of sexual assault.

If someone groped you on the street it would be a credible offence, so a gig should be no different. When we first set up the campaign, many people were either unaware or completely oblivious to sexual assault even happening at gigs, stressing to us the importance of awareness. It needs to be taken seriously, so we can work to make improvements and increase safety.

We support all genders and non-binary people

Groping at gigs can happen to anybody of any age, race, gender or sexuality. We do not restrict who we can offer support to, we are always open to talk to anyone. Our policies should be universally applicable.

Musicians and bands can help more than people might think

Even showing their support against sexual assault during their gigs, or being open that groping is not tolerated massively increases the safety and comfort for the audience. If people know that venues and bands will take sexual assault seriously, we hope that perpetrators won’t even bother to go.

I’m sad summer is over

Summer has been great and busy. Girls Against have had loads of opportunities and I’m excited to go back to university and move into my new house.

I would tell my younger self to not worry about what others think

And to keep being confident, kind, cool and unique.

Next Steps

  • Girls Against fight against sexual harassment and sexual assault in the live music community.
  • Brook provides free sexual health and wellbeing services for young people in the UK. Brook's services include local clinics and online digital sex and relationships tool.
  • Call the Sexual Violence Alliance on 01603 667687 for support and advice for women and men who are victims of sexual or domestic violence.
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.

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Updated on 05-Sep-2018

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