YOUNG VOICES

This Group Of Young Women Is Fighting To Stop Groping At Gigs

27/11/2015 10:38 GMT | Updated 27/11/2015 10:59 GMT

A group of young women has launched a campaign to stop sexual harassment at gigs, after one of its teenage members was groped at a concert.

Girls Against is made up of teenagers Hannah, Anni, Anna, Ava and Bea, who say the campaign is to give victims a "safe space to speak out and aid their recovery".

The group, most of whom are from Scotland, met online through Twitter, but finally met face-to-face for the first time last summer at a Paolo Nutini gig.

bbc

Hannah, Anni, Anna, Ava and Bea

The catalyst to launch Girls Against was provided by 17-year-old Hannah Camilleri, who says she was sexually assaulted by a man when she was at a Peace gig in Glasgow in September.

"[A man] their hand on my waist and every time I tried to push him away he would push his full body weight into the barrier. He kept trying to put his hand into my tights because my skirt had ridden up so far," she told BBC's Newsbeat.

"Every time I tried to brush his hands away he just forced me into a situation where I couldn't move."

Hannah texted her friend about the incident, who tweeted the message, which was seen by one of the indie band's members Harry Koisser.

And, as they say, the rest is history.

Writing on their Tumblr page, the teens say: "Many others then began to share their experiences, forcing us to acknowledge how widespread the problem is - hence leaving us compelled to do something about it. Hannah found that confiding in a stranger gave her the courage to speak more openly about her experience so we created Girls Against to give other victims a safe space to speak out and aid their recovery.

"We are trying to establish a discussion between fans, bands, promoters, venues, security companies and any other relevant parties, so that everyone is aware that this is happening at gigs.

"We hope that if we all speak about the issue loudly and clearly, perpetrators realise that they are not welcome at gigs and we will not tolerate their behaviour. We hope that the issue can be taken more seriously, so that perpetrators are punished for their behaviour, while victims receive any support they need. "

Koisser has since tweeted his support for the group:

While some bands are even sporting the group's badges at their gigs:

The young women have also recognised the fact sexual assault at music events happens to every gender, not only females.

You can follow the campaign's progress, and share your experiences of gigs, on Tumblr.

See Also:

Useful helplines and websites:

Victim Support - Visitvictimsupport.org.uk or call 0808 168 9111

Sexual Abuse Referral Centres - Find a SARC

Rape Crisis - Visit rapecrisis.org.uk or call 0808 802 9999

The Rape and Abuse Line - Visit rapeandabuseline.co.uk or call 0808 800 0123 (answered by women) or 0808 800 0122 (answered by men).

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