Vinyl Bar employees undergo sexual violence prevention training, following criticism from patrons of handling of a sexual assault

Sexual Abuse Prevention Network yesterday facilitated a sexual violence prevention workshop for approximately 20 employees of Hospo Gurus.

Hospo Gurus manage five venues in Wellington, including Vinyl Bar on Courtenay Place.

‘It’s Our Business’ is a programme created specifically for hospitality staff and owners. It focusses on sexual violence awareness, bystander intervention, and creating a shared response plan should an event arise. Hospo Gurus contracted Sexual Abuse Prevention Network to deliver this training following a recent incident of sexual harassment at Vinyl Bar last month that sparked outrage on social media.

Sexual Abuse Prevention Network General Manager, Fiona McNamara says “It is great to see Hospo Gurus taking the events that occurred last month seriously. Not just the sexual harassment itself, but also their response to the incident in the following days.

“We know that alcohol is the most commonly used drug to facilitate sexual violence and that it is a factor in 50% of all sexual assaults in New Zealand. We also know many people have experienced and continue to experience sexual harassment in bars – so commonly that it is sometimes labelled ‘inevitable’.

“But it’s not. We need to stop tacitly permitting sexual violence – which is what we are doing when we fail to provide safe spaces for patrons, or when we don’t respond appropriately to incidents of sexual violence.

“Hospitality providers are part of the solution. We need bars that are consistently intolerant of sexual violence, and bar staff that are on the same page about how incidents of sexual harassment and violence should be treated. When we create positive consent cultures in these spaces, we see better outcomes for everyone who visits them.”

“Hospo Gurus has taken a valuable step in putting their staff through ‘It’s Our Business’. We hope to see all bars in Wellington (and everywhere else, too) follow suit.”

Leon Magowan-Wilson, one of the owners of Hospo Gurus says “We found the ‘It’s Our Business’ workshop extremely helpful in highlighting to our staff the sexual violence satiations that can be present in hospitality environments. The workshop was especially valuable in that it focused on specific ways in which we as hospitality operators should be treating potential future situations, as well as working towards developing a group-wide policy that commits all of us to wiping out sexual violence at our establishments. We strongly encourage other hospitality businesses to take advantage of this specialised training.”

 

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