Six popular Vancouver pubs and bars are participating in the new Last Call Pilot Project led by the City of Vancouver in partnership with Good Night Out.
According to Statistics Canada, in 2021 the rate of police-reported sexual assaults in Canada reached its highest level since 1996 and it still remains the most underreported crime with only six per cent of people coming forward.
Good Night Out Vancouver is a non-profit that provides sexual violence prevention education and resources for the hospitality industry and the new initiative is meant to address patterns of sexual violence and make the city's nightlife more inclusive for marginalized genders, such as cis and trans women, non-binary and Two-Spirit people who are 22 per cent more likely to experience sexualized violence and harassment.
Donnellan's Irish Pub, Greta, Hyne's Irish Pub, Parallel 49 Brewing Company, Shamrock Bar and Grill, and Smith’s Irish Pub are all participating in the one-year program and will receive training, robust written policy improvements that include reporting and investigating mechanisms, and a free subscription to the #NotMe harassment reporting platform.
Plus support with policy and data collection, which will be used by the City to determine if a non-profit-led gender violence prevention program creates a safer hospitality industry in Vancouver.
“Good Night Out is proud to launch this project born from brave survivors of sexual violence in Vancouver’s hospitality speaking up," says Co-Founder and Education Director of Good Night Out Vancouver, Stacey Forrester. "We look forward to working closely with the City and these committed local businesses to create safer spaces to work and play in. We're also grateful to work with the #NotMe team, whose platform makes it easy for people to share reports of harassment quickly."
#NotMe is a whistleblowing app that allows people to report racism, harassment, misconduct, and safety issues that they either witness or experience firsthand. Vancouverites can download the app before going out and report any safety concerns related to sexual harassment or sexualized violence for any space in the city, not just at the participating bars.
The information is received by the designated account administrators within the participating business who review the reports and take appropriate action based on their organization's policies. For anonymous reporters, their identities are not disclosed to the business, only the details shared in the report are accessible for review.
"Participating businesses are encouraged to promptly engage with the person who filed the report, reaching out within the first week of submission and providing updates on the review process," the City tells V.I.A. "This fosters transparency and maintains a supportive environment. To help with accountability around this, Good Night Out will receive high-level data from the app, not about specific reports, but to monitor volume and response times."
"By teaching and practicing bystander intervention, [Good Night Out] equip staff with the skills needed to recognize and respond to potentially dangerous situations, helping to ensure that our Brewery is a safe space for everyone who walks through the door,” says Tracey Martin the People and Culture Manager of Parallel 49 Brewing Company, one of the participating bars.