As Belgium's summer festival season begins, the Wallonia-Brussels Federation decided to renew and strengthen its plans that address sexual harassment and violence on Thursday, to make these events a safer space for women.
The SACHA (Safe Attitude Against Harassment and Assaults) plans are carried out by the non-profit organisation Z!, which has now been granted a budget of €120,000, twice as much as the previous €60,000. This should allow the organisation to be present at a larger number of festivals than before and enable student parties to benefit from this programme.
Moreover, the association will now be able to organise training courses on sexual harassment and violence prevention, to increase the number of professionals specialised in psycho-social care, according to a government statement.
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In 2018, one in six women was a victim of sexual harassment at a festival in Belgium and four in ten bystanders did not react to the aggression, according to a Plan International survey.
"Situations of harassment and/or sexual assault are particularly frequent in festive environments, such as festivals and student parties, " explains the SACHA website. "The SACHA Plan was launched to address the issue of sexual and gender-based violence in the party environment as a phenomenon in its own right, with its own specific awareness-raising and prevention measures."