Shocking new report highlights scale of sexual assault at UK festivals
According to new research, 1 in 5 British festivalgoers have experienced sexual assault at an event.
A recent survey of 1 188 festival goers conducted by YouGov has yielded some shocking revelations about sexual injustices at festivals in the UK, though it is a world-wide concern that needs immediate attention and most importantly action.
The poll shows:
-22% of all Britons who have been to a festival faced unwanted sexual behaviour
-1 in 3 (30% of women)
-43% of women under 40
-11% of women, 3% of men experienced sexual harassment while conscious
-4% of women, 3% of men experienced sexual harassment while unconscious or asleep
The most common forms of this disgusting behaviour experienced by respondents were unwelcome and forceful dancing and sexualised verbal harassment- something many people disregard as an issue.
Cease and desist
The sad reality is that only 2% of sexually assaulted/harassed festivalgoers reported their incidents to the police, meaning such crimes are highly under-reported and without reports, justice cannot be as swift.
Interestingly, while only 1% of women reported their incidents to festival staff, 19% of men reported their incidents to festival staff.
Jan Cajella, co-director of Good Night Out Campaign gives reasons for the under-reporting:
“We know that the vast amount of harassment and sexual assault is not reported and we know this comes down to stigma, fear of not being believed and a minimisation of what harassment is,” she said.
According to Paul Reed, chief executive of the Association of Independent Festivals, festivals “have a duty to make their events as safe and secure and enjoyable.”
“People shouldn’t feel that they need to tolerate the type of behaviour [at festivals] that they wouldn’t tolerate in the street,” he said, adding that raising awareness around the importance of consent and bystander intervention was paramount.
Sexual assault of any kind is not okay or ‘normal,’ and it’s time for it to stop.