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Reading Festival says Enough We can stop violence against women and girls


Festivals should be your highlight of the summer and no one should feel unsafe or at risk. That’s why Reading is encouraging festival goers to say ENOUGH to violence against women and girls.

Violence against women and girls is acts of abuse that disproportionately affect women and girls. At a festival this can include:

  • Groping (unwanted sexual touching anywhere on the body, which could be sexual assault)
  • Spiking (when someone puts alcohol or drugs into another person’s drink or their body without their knowledge and/or consent)
  • Making sexually explicit comments or gestures
  • Leering or unwanted staring
  • Upskirting (taking pictures or filming up someone’s skirt without them knowing)
  • Flashing (indecent exposure)
  • Following someone

We all have the power to stop violence against women and girls and keep festivals safe for everyone.

If you see abuse happening, it can be difficult to know whether or not to intervene, but there are lots of ways you can safely help and make a difference.

The Five Ds intervention model (developed by Right to Be) is a range of tactics you can use to safely diffuse a situation and support someone who’s experiencing abuse.

You can use a combination of these, depending on where you are and who’s involved.

DELEGATE Involve others. If you don’t feel it’s safe or appropriate for you to step in, see if you can get someone else to intervene for you or with you, this could include festival staff or other festival goers.

DISTRACT Interrupt the incident. You could do this by striking up a conversation with the victim, dropping something nearby or asking for directions.

DOCUMENT Used alongside the other Ds, this can help to support the person experiencing abuse and help you to be a witness. Always ask the victim what they want you to do with the information you record.

DELAY If it’s not safe to challenge there and then, it may be best to wait until it has passed. Then you can approach the victim to check they’re OK and ask if they want your help.

DIRECT ACTION If safe to do so, call out the abusive behaviour by making clear, calm statements. Think carefully before doing

Need to report it?

If you see abuse and you don’t feel it’s safe or appropriate for you to intervene, you can involve others – whether a member of festival staff, security or the police. There are over a thousand security stewards and campsite staff on duty at Reading and Leeds, who wear these festival tabards.

If you need to contact Reading Police to report a non-emergency crime or to provide information on a crime while at the festival, please go to the welfare tent (located on Baker Lane or in the Arena by the main stage).[OF1]

You can also report abusive behaviour to the police by calling 101 or making an online report.

If a serious or life-threatening crime is being committed, please contact a member of staff or police officer immediately. If you cannot find someone, call 999.

Need to get support?

If you have been a victim of abuse at a festival, support is available. The Welfare Tent is open 24 hours and is staffed by experienced, trained  and supportive people. They can provide confidential advice about drugs, alcohol, legal highs and sexual health, and offer support if you need to talk. If you start to feel strange, sick or drunk (which could be linked to spiking) , seek help from a steward as soon as possible. They offer a monitored rest and recovery area should you need it. Please go to the Welfare Tent if you experience any problems or need to talk to someone for any reason.

If you need help after the festival, there are lots of specialist support organisations available to talk to confidentially about what has happened. Visit for more information.