Our very own Hannah wrote a poem about her experience of sexual harassment at a gig. As a personal insight into the feelings it can summon, we thought it important to share. Empathy is key, and we hope this can resonate with everyone, whether you’ve been targeted or not. We welcome submissions via email too, should you want to share work on a similar topic.
The bass punches through me.
you’re stealing the breath from my lungs
My body pitches violently forward, my spine cracked into a submissive angle.
and not in the good way
Every side around me shuddering closer and closer to my chest until I’m cuddled in with nowhere to go.
i can feel the pressure of the barrier against every single one of my fragile ribs. they creak beneath the weight of you and their neighbouring muscle sandwiching them.
Like the snap of a guitar string. My breathing hitches and contracts.
And it’s only afterwards, with my breath clouding in front of me and my hands shaking inside my pockets that I’ve realised what happened.
i can feel you scrabbling around my waist like a rabid animal and my only resistance thin elastic
No matter the colour of the glitter disguised as armour on my cheeks you still took from me with no thought to how you would leave me raw and stripped with the only evidence of my former self a whisper in the guitar strings.
I would like to start this blog post with a massive thank you to everyone who has shown support so far – it’s been really overwhelming! We have received such love from many parties, including some of our favourite bands. This has been really special as we have been shown just how much they care about their fans, and it really helps us believe that we are making a difference.
Since the campaign began less than a week ago, Peace, Swim Deep and Circa Waves have all spoken out on stage against groping at gigs. This is a fantastic start – the more we talk about it, the more likely we are to eradicate it. We receive countless stories on a daily basis about the ordeal many have experienced at gigs. I would like to give a personal thank you to all that have spoken out – we realise how difficult it is and commend your bravery. It’s not nice to relive those memories and we are really thankful that you’ve trusted us enough to let us know and in some cases, share to a wider audience.
We begin with a simple agenda – to raise awareness of the issue. The more aware everyone is of the problem, the more able we are to look out for fellow gig goers and keep each other safe. Me and the other girls are working towards contacting various bands, venues, security companies and promoters, in order to establish a solid safety plan should you find yourself in an unsafe situation. We know that many perpetrators have walked away from these gigs without punishment and that isn’t okay. Sexual harassment is a crime, and the punishments should be enforced.
We strive toward a world where we can attend gigs anxiety-free. No one should have their night ruined. Gigs are supposed to be a special place where a crowd share love and happiness – not where people are made to feel violated. Thank you again for all your love and support – together we are stronger. Our messages are always open in case you need to confide in someone – we will always be supportive and we will fight for you.
Big love –
Anni (member of Girls Against).