Torbay bars and pubs come together to make nights out safer after 73% of women in Devon say they’ve been harassed

News Desk
Authored by News Desk
Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2024 - 22:53

An additional seven licensed venues in Torbay receive their Shout-Up! certification this week as a recent poll says 73% of women and 36% of men have been sexually harassed on a night out in Devon.

Shout-Up! the Torbay Council initiative to make bars, pubs, clubs and licensed venues sexual harassment-free certified another group of bars and pubs this week, taking the total venues involved in the scheme to fifteen.

The latest round of certifications comes as a poll conducted by Shout-Up! this month reveals almost three-quarters of women have been sexually harassed on a night out in Devon, and 68% of people have witnessed someone else being harassed.

Eunice Godinho, Assistant Manager of newly certified Otto, said “Everyone deserves to be able to go on a night out and enjoy themselves without feeling unsafe. With enough people taking on this mindset now, it won’t just be us the venues that benefit, but everyone, especially the younger generations that have yet to experience their first night out, and shouldn’t be experiencing any kind of harassment.”

Shout-Up! is part of the council’s efforts to make Torbay safer for women and girls, and venues must complete several tasks to become Shout-Up! certified, including:

  • have all staff complete Bystander Intervention Training delivered by experts from Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services,
  • write and share sexual harassment policies protecting staff and patrons,
  • have a publicly available procedure for dealing with incidents of sexual harassment,
  • commit to making their venue a sexual harassment-free zone,
  • display visible signage explaining their participation in the scheme and what patrons can expect to happen in the event of sexual harassment,
  • commit to undertake six-monthly reviews on policies, procedures and training to retain certification.

The latest venues to complete the training and receive their certification are:

  • Offshore Bar
  • Otto
  • Revolution
  • Soho
  • The Riviera International Centre
  • Twenty1
  • VIVA

The training and coaching provided by Shout-Up! is delivered by a team at Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services, who have expertise in how and why sexual harassment occurs and who give one-to-one support to all certified venues helping them train new staff and maintain standards.

Mandy Barnes from Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services, said, “Since we launched Shout-Up! in November 2023, more than 150 venue staff have received training, increasing their understanding of the issues and giving them the skills needed to intervene. Having visited many of these venues and spoken to their staff, I’ve been very impressed by their enthusiasm and commitment to making Torbay the best and safest night out.” 

Scott McKenna, General Manager of Shout-Up! certified VIVA, on Torquay harbour, said, “With workshops, training sessions, and advocacy Shout-Up! are supporting us to promote consent, boundaries and bystander intervention. 

“We’re so glad to help showcase the positive change being made here in Torbay. We hope to be a beacon of hope and a helping hand for whoever needs us within our community.”

Bars, pubs or clubs that want to be involved should visit