Scheme to eliminate sexual harassment launches in Northamptonshire
The first bars, pubs and clubs in the county to have achieved Shout-Up! certification have been announced.
Shout-Up!, which will be delivered by Northamptonshire Rape Crisis and funded by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold, seeks to upskill those working in Northamptonshire’s night-time economy to identify sexual harassment and intervene safely.
The Picturedrome, The Old White Hart, and NB’s Cocktail Bar and Club in Northampton are the first venues to have had all their staff complete bystander intervention training to spot sexual harassment and make situations safe.
The training comes ahead of a wider campaign by the commissioner to target violence against women and girls, which is being launched at the end of the month.
Certification, which lasts for two years with six-monthly assessments, also requires establishments to have a publicly available sexual harassment policy, to implement practices that protect staff and patrons from sexual harassment, and to have a documented procedure for dealing with incidents.
It is anticipated that this trio of bars will be the first of many to fulfill these requirements and declare themselves ‘sexual harassment-free zones’.
As part of Shout-Up!, which originally started in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2017, with Northamptonshire the first area outside the North East to adopt it, certified venues must:
- have all staff complete Bystander Intervention Training;
- write and share sexual harassment policies protecting staff and patrons;
- have a publicly available procedure for dealing with incidents of sexual harassment;
- commit to making their venue a sexual harassment-free zone;
- display visible signage explaining their participation in the scheme and what patrons can expect to happen in the event of sexual harassment; and
- commit to undertake six-monthly reviews on policies, procedures and training that they must pass to retain their certification.
A total of 40 individuals have been through the rigorous process so far, and more are due to complete shortly.
Commissioner Mold said: “I’m really happy to support the funding of this Shout-Up! training and it comes ahead of a wider campaign we have coming up that specifically targets and tries to prevent violence against women and girls.
“Sexual harassment has a huge impact on the lives of those who have suffered from it, and as the commissioner I need to ensure we make Northamptonshire as safe as it can be for everyone who lives or works here.
“This training will help hospitality staff to recognise the potential signs and trigger points of sexual harassment, to intervene in a safe manner and offer appropriate support to victims. Ultimately, we hope it will help Northampton to provide a safer and more enjoyable night out for everyone.”
Matt Kitchker, Area Manager of NB’s Cocktail Bar and Club said: “Being a part of Shout-Up! let’s our customers know we are serious about zero tolerance of sexual harassment at our venue. We want people to come and have a great night out.
“Sexual harassment ruins the experience for customers and staff and being part of Shout-Up! demonstrates we won’t be tolerating it. The specialist training provided by Shout-Up! has given the team here the tools and confidence to build on the work we do to deal effectively with these situations. “We’re delighted to be one of the first venues making nights out in Northampton safer for everyone.”
Suzy Keeping, Director of both The Picturedrome and The Old White Hart Inn said: “We’re thrilled to have our venues be the first to take part in the Shout-Up! campaign. We have a zero-tolerance policy of sexual harassment in our venues and are proud to be able to celebrate that by becoming Shout-Up! verified.
“It is so important to us that all our customers and staff come into the venue feeling safe, with nothing else to think about but the great night ahead. There is no place in Northampton’s nightlife scene for sexual harassment. Everyone should get on board to show it’s not welcome in this town.”
Dawn Thomas, Chief Executive of Northamptonshire Rape Crisis added: “The response to Shout-Up! has been extremely positive with pubs and venues enthusiastic to be involved in the scheme and promote it to others.
“We all want the same thing; that our pubs and clubs are a safe place for everyone to go. Northamptonshire Rape Crisis will be delivering Shout-Up! training to venues across Northampton and Kettering and we hope to roll the scheme out county wide later in the year.
“We’re delighted that some of the most well-recognised Northampton venues have come forward to get involved at this early stage, and that they are determined to be the best premises they can be.
“Shout-Up! training also enables pubs and venues to understand how they can intervene for their staff too, as too often harassment of staff is normalised. We look forward to working with venues in the coming months to protect their staff and patrons from harassment.”
Any venue that wishes to become part of Shout-Up! can find out more about joining at www.shoutup.org/venues.