Music industry groups are spearheading a taskforce to combat sexual harassment and assault in licensed venues.

The taskforce – led by the LISTEN collective and music advocacy group SLAM, in collaboration with the Victorian Government – are working on policies to create safer evenings out for music fans, performers and staff. By ensuring the music community forefronts the taskforce, it’s hoped that the wider industry will adopt the new initiatives.

For the last four months, LISTEN and SLAM have been working on developing policies to improve how incidents of sexual assault and harassment are reported in licensed venues.

Katie Pearson from LISTEN said “Sexual harassment and sexual violence is a significant issue in licensed venues. It’s great to see the State Government and other organisations get behind our campaign and commit to fixing the issue.”

Helen Marcou from SLAM said she was increasingly concerned about instances of sexual assault in live music venues.

“The music community have again shown leadership and action by spearheading a taskforce that will not only promote our positive culture but aim to provide safer environments for performers and patrons.”

She said musicians and performers are also subject to sexual assault, and lack the routine workplace codes of practice to easily report instances. She said the taskforce aims to implement mechanisms that make reporting sexual harassment anonymous and comfortable for all patrons of licensed venues.

The taskforce is set to meet again in early October to develop further courses of action.

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