National Eisteddfod signs up to campaign aimed at tackling sexual violence
The National Eisteddfod is one of more than 100 music festivals across the UK to sign up to a campaign aimed at tackling sexual violence.
A total of 103 festivals, including Leeds, Reading and Latitude, have committed to the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) Safer Spaces charter which has been updated with guidance and input from organisations including Rape Crisis England and Wales.
The charter aims to raise greater awareness about sexual violence at festivals, and organisers signing up to it must commit to ensuring “all allegations of sexual harassment, assault and violence will be taken seriously, acted upon promptly and investigated”.
YouGov reported in 2018 that 1 in 5 festival-goers had experienced sexual assault or harassment at a UK festival.
In the AIF’s latest audience survey, following the 2019 festival season, when asked: ‘Did you experience sexual assault or harassment at any festival this year?’ 98.7% answered ‘No’.
This was from a total of 2,283 respondents, 68.83% of which identified as female.
According to Rape Crisis England and Wales, 1 in 5 women have been raped or sexually assaulted as an adult, and the highest ever number of rapes was recorded by Police in the year ending December 2021 (67,125).
Sexual violence can also be a difficult problem to quantify. According to Rape Crisis England and Wales, 5 in 6 women who are raped do not report it to Police (the same is true for 4 in 5 men).
Kelly Bennaton from Rape Crisis England and Wales told the Guardian: “Festival-goers deserve to know that if they report sexual assault they will be listened to and believed, and that those working on site are equipped to handle all reports with knowledge and empathy.
“They also deserve to know that festivals are taking a proactive approach in preventing sexual assault, and that abusive behaviour will not be tolerated.”
Bennaton said she hoped the wider festival industry would follow the lead of the AIF.
The Ceredigion National Eisteddfod will be is held on the outskirts of Tregaron from 30 July – 6 August and tickets are available here……
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