Safer Cornwall and Vision Nine, the organisers of Boardmasters, have launched their Safer Spaces initiative this week, to create a culture that confronts and prevents sexual violence, abuse and harassment at Boardmasters.

Festivalgoers can visit the Safer Spaces tent, located in the main campsite village next to the welfare tent, to find help and support, and make use of the glam space and chill area. The tent is a safe place where people can report incidents, talk about a previous experience or ask questions.

First Light’s volunteering members are attending this year’s event which is taking place from Wednesday 11th August until Sunday 15th August and are on hand to provide advice and support for Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence incidents.

The whole Safer Spaces Team at this year’s event is made up of over 70 safeguarding professionals, all volunteering to support this initiative. As well as our First Light volunteering members, the other volunteers include substance misuse, mental health, children and young people support workers, as well as nurses, doctors, midwives, solicitors and children’s social care professionals.

The team will also be introducing pro-social bystander interventions and encouraging the festivalgoers to engage in awareness raising and challenging bad behaviour, in a safe way, both in the Safer Spaces Tent and via the Safer Spaces Outreach Teams.

In 2019, YouGov reported that one in five festivalgoers experienced sexual assault or harassment at a UK festival. This rises to one in three female festivalgoers. Yet there’s a great deal of silence around the issue: Only 1% of women and 19% of men feel able to report their experience to festival staff.

You can help promote the Safer Spaces initiative on social media using the hashtags #saferspaces #noexcuse and #dontbeabystander.

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