Birmingham’s NEC Group Arenas - Utilita Arena Birmingham and Resorts World Arena are committed to reinforcing women’s safety in the West Midlands by pledging support to Safer Dance and the West Midlands Women’s Night Safety Charter.
They are the first UK arenas to pledge their support and become members of Safer Dance – an initiative aimed at helping to raise awareness and combat sexual violence against women at live events.
In addition, the venue operator has signed the West Midlands Women’s Night Safety Charter. The initiative which will be formally launched by the West Midlands Combined Authority in February asks businesses in the West Midlands to commit to ensuring the region is a place where all women and girls feel confident and welcome at night whether on the streets, on public transport or inside night-time economy venues.
Safer Dance was co-founded by Birmingham City University and Coventry University graduates Sam Hennerly and Jack Young to tackle sexual harassment and misconduct in nightlife spaces after both felt that not enough was being done by nightlife venues. By becoming members, both venues have committed to undertaking self-assessments which will lead to tailored, industry-specific training, guides on how to implement learnings and peer networking and seminars with other night-time economy businesses across the UK.
Both of these will work alongside existing initiatives in place at the Arenas including Ask for Angela, Ask for Clive, and support from the Arenas’ trained mental health first aiders.
Alan Goodman, Director of Event Operations for NEC Group Arenas, said: “We’re proud to be pledging support to both of these initiatives. Although cases of sexual violence in our arenas are very rare, we can’t ignore this societal issue. As venues that host millions of people every year, we’d like to do what we can to combat this. Live events should be safe spaces for everyone and regarding Safer Dance, it’s great to see young, local people in the industry wanting to do more to highlight this issue.”
Jack Young and Sam Hennerly, co-founders of Safer Dance, said: “It’s imperative that the safety of our night time economy venues are prioritised and managed effectively. We believe that by creating the necessary culture of respect and following an approach that allows venues to Acknowledge, Commit, Plan and Continuously Improve will future proof the viability of NTE venues within the West Midlands region.”