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Poll: 1 In 5 UK Festivalgoers Say They Have Been Sexually Assaulted Or Harassed

Sexual assault is a problem that needs to be proactively fought at festivals.
Farr Festival 2017

According to a new poll conducted by YouGov, one in five UK festivalgoers say they have been sexually harassed or assaulted at an event. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, things get worse as you get further into the data and into the range of more common attendees.

The numbers rise to about 30% of women and 43% of women under the age of 40. The most common forms of harassment were unwanted dancing and sexual harassment from other attendees, though 17% of women 18-24 said they had been physically sexually assaulted.

The poll by YouGov surveyed 1,188 festivalgoers for the Press Association.

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Only 1% of the women reported incidents to festival staff, while 19% of men reported their experience to staff.

When asked about how they felt festival staff handled their request, there was a general sense of that they didn’t really know. 45% said they did not know and 24% said they were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied. A total of 22% said they were satisfied and 8% said they were dissatisfied.

Researchers contacted 21 of the UK’s biggest festivals and 16 declined to comment. It seems pretty common for festivals to pay some lip service to sexual assault and harassment on the FAQs before the festival, but when it actually happens, they pretend it doesn’t.

You can read more about the poll here and see the stats here.

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