Carolin Hirsch 0

Awareness raising of sexual assault in Yangon nightlife

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Yangon, April 2018

To the owners of Yangon nightlife venues.

We, local and non-local women and men living in Yangon and visiting your places on a regular basis, are addressing you to raise awareness of sexual assault which is becoming an increasing problem in Yangon nightlife. We write this letter to you in the hope that you listen to our requests. We seek your support and ask that you join us in our efforts to create a safe space for men and women who frequent nightlife establishments in Yangon. Our aim is for all people to enjoy going out in Yangon without fear of being harrassed, harmed, and/or assaulted.

Sexual harassment cases in Yangon nightlife are increasing and recently one incident occurred in which behavior started as harassment resulted in a woman being raped. Sexual harassment starts as pushy, aggressive flirting behavior and frequently escalates to a woman, man, or gender non-conforming person being held tightly without consent and groped when walking by or dancing. This behavior is unacceptable. It makes people feel unsafe when going out at night to your venues. Being a bystander and not taking actions shows acceptance for sexual harassment, which paves the way for sexual violence. We, your guests, customers, and friends living in Yangon do not accept sexual and gender based harassment, aggression, or assault and for this we ask for your support.

We kindly want to ask you to take action for us:

  1. Please educate your security staff to identify sexual harassment when it is happening. Tell them to have an eye on the behavior defined above. Raise awareness in your team for the sexual harassment going on at your place and make them interrupt and help if such a situation is happening.
  2. Harassors barely have to face consequences regarding their behavior. Please state an example and ban harassors from your places. Sexual harassment is very likely to be not an unique slip-up, it is a very deeply incorporated practice that offenders carry out on a regular basis. By banning offenders that are harassing other persons on a regular basis you make them face consequences for their behavior.

We kindly ask you to accept our requests to help us building up a safe space at Yangon nightlife everyone can enjoy without being harmed, feeling uncomfortable and being scared of what to expect from the evening.

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