As the summer rolls around, music festivals are starting up again. They are a popular way for college students and young adults to de-stress, however such events have recently been found to be the scene of frequent sexual assault. Unfortunately, such assault has largely gone unnoticed, and it’s about time we paid attention.
Music festivals are well-known for their laid-back culture and common drug and alcohol use. People who attend are often in the mood to just let go, letting their inhibitions run free. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily mean it is a safe environment. Many people take advantage of attendees who might have compromised reasoning skills, and often, this leads to sexual assault.
An article from Broadly describes one woman’s encounter with sexual assault. She had been experimenting with drugs and was flirting with a guy, until he decided to take it a step too far and raped her (https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/theres-a-rape-epidemic-at-music-f...). As the article shows, many female festival-attendees experience being harassed by men at the festivals, yet little attention is paid to this issue. Music festivals are generally surrounded by a culture of idyllism and are regarded as an escape from reality (https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/article/theres-a-rape-epidemic-at-music-f...). It is important to remember that with this escapist sentiment comes the necessity of consent and a “yes means yes” outlook. Just because women are letting their guard down does not mean it is okay to abuse or take advantage of it.
Moving forward, we should definitely make a larger effort to promote consent culture at music festivals. An article from Cosmopolitan suggests that festival organizers should do more to prevent the spread of rape culture at festivals and better monitor attendee activity (http://www.cosmopolitan.com/politics/news/a44755/music-festivals-sexual-...). It is time to realize that protecting women is important no matter what the context is, and that consent culture is relevant no matter what the setting is.Read more in Being HER