AFEM launches sexual harassment support service
The Association for Electronic Music (AFEM) has announced the launch of a confidential support service for victims of sexual harassment in the electronic music business.
The service, delivered by employee wellbeing specialist Health Assured, will provide advice and guidance to those affected by workplace harassment, and forms part of AFEM’s mission to “drive positive change in the industry” throughout 2018 and beyond. It will be followed by a code of conduct launching early next year.
“Since its formation, AFEM has championed equality and inclusion as vital foundations of our industry, and we unequivocally condemn sexual abuse and harassment of any kind,” says AFEM CEO Mark Lawrence. “To step forward as a victim of abuse or harassment takes immense courage and we will support all who need help and guidance.
“We are working with our 150-plus members on how to unite as an industry against all forms of abuse, and AFEM directs anyone who has been affected by abuse or harassment to an industry specific and confidential service operated by Health Assured, on +44 (0)800 030 5182, where trained experts will listen and support.
“This is a pivotal moment for society, industry and inclusivity and we must ensure that every opportunity is taken to support all victims. It is time to build a safe and supportive environment for everyone whatever their gender, ethnicity, sexual preference and age.”
“Setting up this confidential helpline is an important first step during this watershed post-Weinstein moment for society”
AFEM is a global trade body for the electronic music genre. Its members include Live Nation, CAA, Three Six Zero, Red Light Management and Defected Records.
DJ, producer and label owner Anja Schneider comments: “While I’ve been lucky enough not to have had problems with sexual harassment throughout my career, I know the experiences of other females working in the music industry has been very different. This behaviour has become normalised over the years and needs to be called out at every opportunity. No form of sexual harassment or abuse is ever OK.
“We need to be vocal and stand as one, both women and men, to send the message this is not acceptable – and also, very importantly, ensure the guilty perpetrators are held responsible for their actions. The time to stand up is now.”
“There is no level of sexual harassment, assault or misconduct that we shouldn’t be outraged about,” says says DJ, promoter and label boss Nicole Moudaber. “Women were made to feel throughout history that this behaviour is normal – well, not anymore.”
Carl Loben, the editor of DJ Mag, adds: “There should be no place for sexual abuse or harassment in the music industry. For too long, predatory men in positions of power have got away with it. Well, no longer.
“Setting up this confidential helpline for victims of sexual abuse in electronic music is an important first step during this watershed post-Weinstein moment for society, when the #MeToo campaign has given many women the confidence to speak out. We all need to work together to end this abuse forever.”