This Group Of Teenagers Are Fighting Sexual Harassment At Gigs For Young Women Everywhere
Their campaign - Girls Against is all kinds of awesome
In September last year, 17-year-old Hannah Camilleri and four of her friends decided enough was enough on sexual harassment at gigs and took matters into their own hands.
While all still in school they launched Girls Against, a platform for people to share their stories on sexual harassment at gigs, raise awareness and for bands and venues to get involved and put a stop to this little discussed issue once and for all. They’ve since gained over 11,000 supporters; have been backed by the likes of PEACE, Everything Everything and Drenge, and they’re growing by the day!
We caught up with Hannah to talk about the campaign, and she explained more about what they do:
“We raise awareness of the issue in order to provoke discussion and in turn change people’s attitudes. We’re doing this by getting support from bands for the cause and sending them our badges and things like that. Whether they like it or not, musicians are role models for their fans and there’s so much more pressure on them now to be educated on social issues. You can no longer be successful and completely ignorant.”
Offering a safe space for victims to discuss their experience
“Girls Against also offers a safe space for victims to discuss their experiences which is a huge part of changing attitudes. We don’t share anyone’s experience without explicit permission and they’re always anonymous. However, if more people are coming forward and saying that it’s happened to them then others will become more aware that it’s a huge and very real issue.”
Making real change in the industry
“Seeing real change being made in the industry is one of the hardest things we have to do. Security companies and venues are reluctant to admit that it goes on, however, our large backing and determination is helping us to be more successful. Already, after only being live for a couple of months, we’re seeing change. SecuriGroup have offered additional training sessions regarding sexual assault and harassment for their staff. In the future, we want to continue seeing this change being made. A combination of less tolerance for it and changes to security is what will stop it happening.”
As you can see, Girls Against aren’t messing around, but how the hell are they managing all this as well as school!? (We barely managed school when we were in school!)
“The fact of the matter is that a lot of the time it’s very difficult. Running the campaign takes huge amounts of work and time - it’s not something you can set up and then engage in when you fancy it, it’s hard work. Our young age, however, has helped us in many ways. This campaign would be nothing without social media, it’s what it primarily runs on, which our age has helped with.”
“Also, being so young has helped us because we know what young people are interested in and what they want to see in social issue campaigns. In fact one of the key ‘selling points’, if such a thing exists, in our campaign is that we’re so young.”
“I’m not sure where the future will take myself and Girls Against, however, we’re committed to making a real change in the music industry and making it a safer space for everyone no matter how much blood, sweat and tears we shed in the process.”
YOU GO, GIRLS (Against)!