New research to curb sexual violence in Melbourne music industry

A Monash University survey that will gauge the extent of sexual violence in Melbourne’s music industry has started this week. It is the first time a World Music City will measure the problem and find new solutions for a post-pandemic world. The research is supported by funding from the Victorian Government and the City of Melbourne.

“Despite the #metoo movement in 2017, recent research about the music festival circuits in Australia, the UK and the US illustrate that gendered sexual violence is rife,” Dr Andrea Baker, Chief Investigator and Senior Lecturer at Monash’s School of Media, Film and Journalism, said.

“But we need to quantify the impact of sexual violence on our Melbourne music scene, especially on those who suffer a combination of disadvantages that intersect with gender, sexuality, ethnicity, age or disability.”

Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams said the music industry was an important part of what makes Melbourne great - and it is vital we ensure it is safe for all.

“Whether it is inside a crowded venue, on a stage, or in a meeting - we need to know that the music scene is safe for everybody,” Ms Williams said.

“Victoria is leading the nation in gender equality reform and investment to end all forms of violence against women, but there is so much more to do to improve women’s safety – and this research will further inform that important work.”

The project will complement the City of Melbourne’s Project Night Justice, which is funded by the Victorian Government, and aims to improve safety around venues and transport hubs through raising community awareness about sexual assault and a targeted prevention program.

Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp said she wants everyone to be able to safely participate in the music industry.

“Melbourne’s music scene has been devastated by lockdowns, and as we start to open up with confidence, we are doing what we can to promote a safe and inclusive culture for musicians, workers and fans,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Our local music industry contributes greatly to our culture and economy. This research will drill down into unacceptable patterns of behaviour, to improve safety in work environments and entertainment spaces.”

The survey will be distributed via key music organisations to help encourage people to participate. Results are expected late in 2021.