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More venues step up to tackle sexual harassment

More staff in venues across Devon have been trained to keep people safe on a night out, according to the Shout-Up! campaign.

Funded by Torbay Council, the initiative helps licensed venues tackle sexual harassment.

Seven more venues have received Shout-Up! certification, taking the total number included in the scheme to 15.

'Keep you safe'

A recent poll revealed 73% of women and 35% of men have been sexually harassed on a night out in Devon.

The campaign said venues must complete several tests to become certified.

The training and coaching provided by Shout-Up! is delivered by a team at Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services.

Mandy Barnes, from Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services, said since launching in November 2023 more than 150 venue staff had received training.

She said the certified venues would "help keep you safe".

"Most people are out for a good time and Torbay has a really good nightlife," she said.

"We need to be looking out for, and calling out, these behaviours.

"If you are with a group of people, and someone is behaving in this way, call that person out."

She added the scheme would allow members of staff at one of the venues to "step in and intervene early".

'Beacon on hope'

Scott McKenna, the general manager at Viva in Torquay, said the Shout-Up! training has allowed his staff to promote "consent, boundaries and bystander intervention".

He added: "We hope to be a beacon of hope and a helping hand for whoever needs us within our community.”

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