Shout-Up! the initiative from Safe Newcastle and Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland to combat sexual harassment in bars and clubs launched in Ouseburn this weekend and will roll out across the rest of the city in 2018.

Eight ambassador venues declared their support for the campaign, staff from The Cluny, The Cumberland Arms, The Ship Inn, Tyne Bank Brewery, The Tyne Bar, Ernest, The Tanners Arms and Kiln attended training delivered by Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland in which they learnt about the prevalence of sexual harassment in the bar and club scene.

Trainer, Dawn Bowman of Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland, said “According to a YouGov poll last year, 72% of people said they have seen sexual harassment in some form on a night out. The aim of Shout-Up! and the training specifically, is to give the venue staff the skills they need to identify sexual harassment, know how to address it within the scope of their own roles and how to support anyone who experiences harassment in their venue. In the training the staff are working together to develop their own strategies for intervention, that are appropriate for their venue and patrons.”

The campaign devised by Safe Newcastle and Rape Crisis Tyneside and Northumberland aims to deliver safer places for women and men to enjoy themselves across the city.  Organisers say the response has been overwhelming, with venues, patrons and bar staff commenting on the long overdue nature of the campaign.

Jane Stafford of The Ship Inn, said “The staff and patrons are all thoroughly supportive of Shout-Up! The training delivered has been an invaluable addition to the skills of the team. We work hard to make sure our venue is welcoming and safe for everyone, the added awareness that Shout-Up! brings, only adds to that. The Ship has zero-tolerance for sexual harassment and harassment of any kind.”

In anticipation of Shout-Up! arriving in Jesmond in 2018, councillor for North Jesmond, Stella Postlethwaite commented, “This is a fantastic and essential project and I am really excited about Shout-Up! coming to Jesmond next year. There are lots of bars in Jesmond – I say, let’s make them all sexual harassment free zones!”

The campaign will move into Newcastle City Centre in Spring 2018, before heading north to Jesmond and Gosforth. Venues wishing to be involved should visit www.shoutup.org.

Further sign up will be encouraged from other venues for each phase of the project as it progresses into 2018.