Sadly, it has become more and more prevalent for groping, touching and other, perhaps worse, forms of sexual assault to take place in the midst of a gig. Whether it’s a creepy and opportunistic mosher or a sleazy raver, the problem has become so ubiquitous that a group of five teenagers from the UK have decided to take some action.
Anni, Hannah, Bea, Ava and Anna are the brains behind Girls Against, a campaign established to tackle the problem of sexual assault at converts and make live music shows the enjoyable events they should be. We caught up with them to get a better idea of what they’re trying to achieve.
Tell us a little bit about Girls Against?
We are a campaign run by five teenage girls with a love for music and gigs; our aim is to raise awareness about sexual assault at gigs and to impose legislation and training for staff to prevent and tackle the issue.
What provoked you to start the initiative?
We started the campaign after one of our team, Hannah, was sexually assaulted at a gig. We were so angry and surprised that there wasn’t a campaign or organisation out there who were tackling the issue, so we took matters into our own hands and started up!
Why do you think this is such an important campaign?
We think we are needed so victims know that it’s not just them; a huge number of people have come to us and said that they didn’t know that it happened to so many people. So, we hope we’ve made victims feel less alienated, and know that there is support for them.
Have you seen much support since you started Girls Against?
Our support has been incredible – bands such as Peace, Slaves and Circa Waves have shown us huge support. In addition, we’ve been in publications such as the Guardian and the Independent and we were even on BBC Breakfast! It’s so humbling and we are so grateful to have been boosted onto such a huge platform.
Where are you based right now and do you have plans to expand the idea?
There are four of us in Scotland and one in London, so it’s not as spread as we’d like.
We are putting in place a Reps System in which people from all across the UK and further can represent Girls Against at their local gigs so the message can be spread further! We hope this will allow the campaign to reach a bigger audience and will thus help many more people.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this important initiative, head over to the Girls Against Twitter page.