Safety bud­dies could come to city’s parks

Metro Canada (Vancouver) - - News -

Fes­ti­val and con­cert-go­ers in Van­cou­ver could soon see safety sup­port bud­dies cir­cu­lat­ing in the crowds at shows. These peo­ple, hired by fes­ti­val or­ga­niz­ers would be there to help pro­tect peo­ple from sex­ual as­sault and ha­rass­ment.

On Mon­day, the Van­cou­ver Park Board com­mis­sion­ers de­cided they would look into cre­at­ing a pol­icy that would re­quire fes­ti­val or­ga­niz­ers to im­ple­ment strate­gies that pro­tect women and other mi­nori­ties from vi­o­lence, as­sault and ha­rass­ment at concerts and mu­sic fes­ti­vals held on Park Board land.

Park Board com­mis­sioner Cather­ine Evans pro­posed the mo­tion, com­mis­sioner Erin Shum sec­onded it, and all other Park Board mem­bers sup­ported it.

Speak­ing to Metro by phone, Shum said peo­ple at mu­sic fes­ti­vals de­serve to be pro­tected.

“It’s time that our en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try and the mu­nic­i­pal govern­ment did more to pro­tect pa­trons from gen­der­based vi­o­lence and ha­rass­ment at events,” she said.

“For too long ha­rass­ment, grop­ing, non-con­sen­sual touch­ing ... have been nor­mal­ized.”

The mo­tion men­tions a lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tion called Good Night Out Van­cou­ver as an ex­am­ple of a group that is al­ready help­ing fes­ti­val or­ga­niz­ers make their par­ties safer for vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions.


Park Board com­mis­sioner Erin Shum says a group will look at how to en­sure women are safe from sex­ual ha­rass­ment at events in the city’s parks.

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