Safety buddies could come to city’s parks
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.