The following article was written by Ashtyn Bevan from Good Night Out Vancouver.
Good Night Out Vancouver is a chapter of an international initiative dedicated to raising awareness about sexual harassment and assault on nights out. We build safer communities by providing nightlife economies with the capacity to respond to and prevent harassment and sexual assault within licensed venues, bars, pubs, festivals and art space. Our vision is to generate a cultural shift in Vancouver's arts, culture and nightlife. Simply put we want safer nights out for all.
The #gnosquad loves Public Disco because it aims to be an inclusive community gathering that brings people together. Diversity thrives at these events and people of all age, genders and backgrounds can connect with one another through music and dance. With Public Disco we know that the safety and comfort of minority groups isn't just used as a selling point but rather is exemplified in the organization and overall ethos of the event.
Music and nightlife can shape society's culture at large, so when there are events that not only promote fun, but also safety it reflects into the day to day of our city life. You cannot ignore that public spaces are full of inequalities, but these community events attempt to erase them. If you do see harassment at any event, there are a few ways to challenge the bad behaviour:
Be Direct: “I think what you are doing is making them uncomfortable, please stop.”
Distract: Burst into song or dance or jump in and ask a bunch of annoying questions
Delay: Check in with them to let them know you saw what went down and make sure they are ok
Delegate: Get a staff member, loud friend or security to help
Dialogue: Talk about harassment more often. It’s not ok that it’s a normal part of a night out!
In addition to challenging inequalities and harassment, Good Night Out also provide tips to party safer. It’s everyone’s responsibility to party safe, ensuring the safety of themselves and those around them, to ensure events can continue, grow and thrive. Here are a few tips:
Enjoy the music
Don’t creep our your server
Respect people’s Space
Look out for each other
Challenge sexism, racism, homophobia, and other ‘isms’
Make new friends
Pick up pizza
Don’t drive impaired
A Program at Risk
As part of Good Night Out Vancouver’s platform, we have a dedicated street team for the Granville Entertainment District (GED) which navigates the public realm. We believe that the GED is a vibrant, historical part of the city and that this Project is an effective way for the Vancouver community to come together to revitalize the area. We know that heightened feelings of safety among women and vulnerable populations in the GED increase engagement in the nightlife economy and facilitates a healthy culture of art and entertainment in Vancouver.
Good Night Out Vancouver’s Granville Street Team Project is an innovative, community-based initiative that engages skilled peers in bystander intervention to reduce incidents of gendered harassment in Vancouver's Granville Entertainment District. The Project operates on Friday and Saturday nights between 12:00 am and 3:30 am. They patrol Granville and support more vulnerable, often intoxicated patrons. We help them find their friends, charge their phone, get a cab, have some water, intervene if we see someone potentially making them feel unsafe
Currently our Granville street team is at risk due to under-funding and we are asking community members to help us raise $20,000 to keep the street team on the Granville Strip.
The Street Team has been building community and keeping party-goers safe since September 2018 - but the Project is at risk. A lack of funding means that the Street Team Project is faced with the reality of having to stop all operations, halting all of our harm reduction services in their tracks and leaving women and vulnerable populations with decreased feelings of safety and security on their nights out.
We know you care about your communities safety and well being, and we do too. Let’s work together to keep the Street Team on the Strip so that everyone who visits the Granville Entertainment District this summer is able to enjoy a Good Night Out.
What we stand to lose:
A highly visible support team for women and the LGBTQ2 community visiting the GED.
A team that is skilled in bystander intervention and conflict resolution to support patron safety on the street and help reduce experiences of harassment.
A link between victims of assault and police.
Support for your venue security staff and VPD in prioritizing patron and public safety.
Support for vulnerable patrons during the 2 A.M. egress from licensed establishments on the weekends.
Harm reduction services and overdose prevention responses
Keep Women And Vulnerable Populations Safe And Secure All Summer Long.