A group of volunteer women will be formed to help protect vulnerable people from unwanted sexual advances, intimidation, violence and sexual assault at gigs and festivals in Northern Tasmania.
The program, known as Valkyrie, is one of the first of its type in Australia, and includes four female Tasmanian musicians carrying out training with sexual assault victim support service Laurel House to identify concerning behaviour and methods of intervening.
Sarah Triffitt is one of the four involved. She said Valkyrie was a response to the unacceptably high number of incidents occurring to women and vulnerable people attending live music.
"There's been a few too many incidents of late, locally and Tasmania-wide," she said.
"It's not just about female victims, but minority groups as a whole, which may include effeminate males, anyone that's alone and vulnerable can be a victim of the issues we're having at live music.
"It's the little things that have become acceptable for far too long. These can be small incidents that will eventually build up to more violent harassment and assault."
Valkyrie will offer passive surveillance, a confidential and non-judgemental reporting pathway for patrons, and will work with event and facility managers to reduce opportunities for undetected assault.
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Festivale is the first event to sign up for Valkyrie, with discussions ongoing with other large events. Valkyrie is also available for individual bands and venues.
Laurel House chief executive officer Justine Brooks said everybody deserved to feel safe when attending live music.
"The statistics around sexual assault and harassment at live music events in Australia are completely unacceptable to Laurel House with 38 per cent of 18-24-year-olds and 25 per cent of 25-34-year-olds reporting they were sexually harassed at live music events last year," she said.
"These statistics are much higher for gender and sexually diverse people."
Valkyrie will be launched with an all ages live concert at Civic Square from 3pm on December 8.
To get in touch, contact ValkyrieTAS@outlook.com