The SHINE project publishes reports on sexual harassment in nightlife venues in Slovenia and Lithuania

May 2021 – The SHINE project (Sexual Harassment in Nightlife Entertainment Spots: Control and Prevention), in which Efus is a partner, has just produced two reports on sexual harassment in nightlife venues in respectively Slovenia and Lithuania, thus completing one of the key phases of the two-year project (2020-2022). 

The findings enable the project partners to assess the perception – by victims of sexual harassment, municipality officials, representatives of law enforcement agencies, nightlife venue owners and staff, and NGOs working on prevention – and occurrences of sexual harassment in nightlife venues in Ljubljana (SL) and Vilnius (LT).

Below is a summary of the reports’ main findings and recommendations. The full version of the paper presenting the reports is available here.

Going beyond the legal definition of sexual harassment

Both reports highlight that the existing legal definitions of sexual harassment are far too narrow. The SHINE project will thus go further than the ‘strict legal definition’ of sexual harassment in each country and consider, for instance, ‘cultural’, ‘societal’ and ‘sociological’ definitions as well as the definition that victims themselves give.

Under-reporting and biased data

Sexual harassment in nightlife venues appears to be largely under-reported for various reasons such as the legal definition being too restrictive, the victims’ fear of being misunderstood or shamed, and mistrust in the justice system and in the police. This in turn reduces the reliability of the available data. 

Need for increased cooperation among all relevant stakeholders

Drawing conclusions from interviews with nightlife stakeholders and victims, the reports highlight the need for increased cooperation among municipal authorities, the police, and nightlife venue owners and staff in order to prevent and mitigate sexual harassment in and around nightlife venues. 

A model that can be used by other interested local or regional authorities

Now that these reports have been completed, the project partners will develop a ‘Model for the Prevention and Mitigation of Sexual Harassment in Nightlife Entertainment Venues’ that interested local and regional authorities in Europe (and eventually beyond) can use and adapt to their specific context. In particular, they contemplate creating quality labels for venues that do have or are putting in place systems to prevent incidents and protect potential victims; developing specialised training for nightlife venue professionals; running awareness campaigns that would include material distributed in nightlife venues; setting protocols so that potential victims can find shelter and help, and appointing ‘referents’ in nightlife establishments. 

> More information on the SHINE project
> Read here the full version of the paper presenting the Slovenia and Lithuania SHINE reports