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Calls for prevention training for Wellington bar staff

Sexual Abuse Prevention Network calls for prevention training for Wellington bar staff, including The Establishment Bar, bouncer convicted of rape yesterday

Media release for immediate release


Yesterday a bouncer from the Wellington Establishment Bar was convicted of rape[1] amid appalling victim blaming comments from his defence lawyer, the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network wants to see more hospitality staff (both bar staff and bouncers) being trained in sexual violence prevention.

Natalie Gousmett, member of the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network Management Group, says “it is disappointing that The Establishment has not yet taken up the opportunity for training in this area and we hope we can work with them in the future. People working in venues that serve alcohol are in an ideal position to play a role in preventing sexual abuse. It is the responsibility of these establishments to ensure that they provide a safe environment. For a bouncer, whose primary role is to ensure a safe environment for alcohol to be consumed, to target and rape a drunk young woman is abhorrent.”

The Sexual Abuse Prevention Network has run programmes with staff from a number of bars in the Wellington Region. Feedback from bar staff who attended the training shows an increase in their knowledge of sexual violence, the law and consent, and improved skills and confidence to intervene in potentially unsafe situations.

In New Zealand, half of all rapes committed are associated with alcohol – half of all sexual assaults are committed by men who have been drinking alcohol and approximately half of all sexual assault victims also report having consumed alcohol pre-assault.[2]

The programmes offered by Sexual Abuse Prevention Network are based on the idea that everyone can play a role in preventing sexual abuse. A key focus of the workshops is on ethical bystander interventions. An ethical bystander is someone who can identify potentially unsafe situations and takes action that is safe for them and helps to mitigate any negative consequences that may otherwise have eventuated. The Network uses the ‘Who are you?’[3] video in its programmes, an ethical bystander tool developed in Wellington in collaboration with several other agencies - www.whoareyou.co.nz

Sexual Abuse Prevention Network, a collaboration of Wellington Rape Crisis, Wellington Sexual Abuse HELP Foundation and WellStop offers primary prevention programmes for rape and sexual abuse, including the “It’s Our Business” programme that targets professionals in the hospitality industry, such as bar tenders and bouncers.



[1] http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/9397528/Rape-victim-could-have-closed-legs-says-lawyer

2 “Taskforce for Action on Sexual Violence Paper: Review of Associations between Drugs (including Alcohol) and Sexual Violence”.

3 A collaboration between Police, Wellington Sexual Health Service, Radio Network and the Sexual Abuse Prevention Network

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