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Training of night club staff to prevent sexual violence

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Prague, Dec 8 (CTK) – Experts from Prague’s Addictology Clinic plan to instruct the personnel of night clubs in ways of preventing sexual violence within a pilot stage of a project supported by the European Commission, they told a press conference on Friday.

“The environment of night entertainment is a place in which sexual violence often occurs. The highly sexualised environment and influence of alcohol or other addictive substances contributes to this,” said Hana Fidesova, from the Addictology Clinic of the First Medical Faculty of Charles University.

Such prevention has not been done on a regular basis in the Czech Republic, but experience from abroad shows that training of night club managers and personnel has an effect, she said.

At first, several instructors will be trained who would then train the staff of night clubs. The first results of the project are expected in March 2019.

One of the instructors, Adam Kulhanek, an expert in addictions, said the aim is to make people sensitive to potentially risky situations. He said night clubs might get a “safe club” status if the environment met rules such as the absence of dark corners or complicated entrance rooms.

Kulhanek said the first contacts showed that the night clubs do not absolutely reject the idea.

Fidesova said the EC pointed out that sufficient data on the occurrence of sexual violence are lacking.

“In the Czech Republic, this problem is little reflected and little dealt with. The issue of sexual violence has become a part of the security strategy of the Interior Ministry only recently,” she said.

According to a European survey, 8 percent of women in the EU experienced physical or sexual violence in the past year and one third of women have experienced it in their life. The situation in the Czech Republic is more or less average in this respect, with about 21 percent of women having experienced sexual violence not involving their partner.

Britain, Portugal and Spain also participate in the pilot stage of the project.

Sexual violence has recently become the focus of public attention mainly because of the #metoo campaign on social networks that started in reaction to the scandal of U.S. film producer Harvey Weinstein who sexually harassed women.

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