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Newcastle councillor and supporters determined to end sexual harassment

ByDave Stopher

Jun 9, 2018

Cllr Habib Rahman shows his support for Shout-Up! as the campaign prepares for its third phase in Jesmond, this summer

Shout-Up! – a campaign to declare some of Newcastle’s most popular pubs, clubs and bars ‘sexual harassment-free zones’ – returns this Summer, riding high on the successes of its first phase, in the Ouseburn area, and its second phase, in Newcastle City Centre.

Participants from all three phases of the campaign met Cllr Habib Rahman, Director of Community and Safety at Newcastle City Council, this week at a special event at Newcastle’s Civic Centre.

Cllr Rahman met with some of those whose venues are already part of Shout-Up! such as The Tanners Arms in Ouseburn and those set to take part later this month, such as Jam Jar in Jesmond – who will declare their venue a sexual harassment-free zone.

Cllr Habib Rahman, Director of Community and Safety at Newcastle City Council, said:

“Shout-Up! is an important campaign, which has been very successful since its launch in December 2017. By bringing together all participating venues, from Phases 1, 2 and upcoming phase 3, we are making a bold statement – that sexual harassment will not be tolerated in our City!”

After two hugely successful phases, the Shout-Up! campaign is preparing for launch in Jesmond at the end of this month. Already on board, as ‘Ambassador Venues’ for Phase 3, are some of Jesmond’s most well-known haunts, including Osbornes, Jam Jar, the New Northumbria and El Paso. Staff members from these venues will receive Bystander Intervention Training from Dawn Bowman, of the charity, Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland; the training is a significant part of the project, which seeks to upskill all venue and bar staff when it comes to not only understanding sexual harassment, but to the impact it has on patrons, the reputation of the venue and the wider implications on the night-time economy. 

Research* conducted in Liverpool, showed that if venues adopt a zero-tolerance attitude to sexual harassment, people (women specifically) will spend more time, and therefore money in those venues, making Shout-Up! a ‘no brainer’ according to Charlie Marx, General Manager of Jam Jar, who join Shout-Up! this month:

“Having read about the previous successes of the Shout-Up! campaign in the Ouseburn area, and the Diamond Strip, I was thrilled to be approached as an Ambassador Venue. Jesmond is a popular choice, both with students and for after-work drinks. Why not ensure our night-time economy is safe for everyone? It’s a no-brainer!”

Through Shout-Up! venues are taught to recognise and respond accordingly to any harassment in their bars and pubs. As well as being trained to ‘Shout Up’ about sexual harassment, venues will also be given t-shirts, posters, beer mats and badges – all branded with the striking Shout-Up! logo.

Atul Malhotra, Operations Director at Malhotra Group, who own Osbornes, El Paso and the New Northumbria, has committed all of his Jesmond venues to the initiative:

“Shout-Up! is a campaign that we are proud to be involved in. The New Northumbria, Osbornes and El Paso operate a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment, and our staff are confident that they will Shout Up if they witness anything untoward. Here at the Malhotra Group, we are committed to making Jesmond a safe space for all of our patrons.”

Phase 3 of the Shout-Up! campaign launches in Jesmond on June 28. The confirmed Ambassador Venues for Phase 3 are: Osbornes; Jam Jar, the New Northumbria and El Paso. Any other venues in Jesmond wishing to be involved should visit www.shoutup.org