In Bristol there is a consultation taking place on the licencing of strip clubs known as Sexual Entertainment Venues (SEV’s).
SARSAS has always supported a nil cap (i.e., the granting of no SEV licences in the City) and continues to do so, as an organisation, this time.
There is an evidenced link between sexual violence and men’s objectification of, feelings of entitlement towards and oppression of women. There is also mounting evidence that men who objectify women are more likely to sexually victimise women. While obviously not all men who hold these attitudes towards women perpetrate sexual violence, all sexual violence begins with these attitudes. As an organisation that is committed to ending gender-based violence we have always been, and remain, in favour of the nil cap and see this as a step towards Bristol becoming a city that does not tolerate violence against women and girls. Research shows that the way to stop men’s violence against women is to challenge the culture that creates the belief that men are entitled to access to women’s bodies.
We recognise and appreciate that this may not be a position that our all of our clients and supporters hold and we acknowledge this cap will impact on the women who work in SEVs. Our organisational stance is not about wanting to remove individual women’s rights to earn a living nor is it about making women responsible for men’s behaviour. We will also be calling for the Council to consider a package of support for women within the SEV industry that are impacted by a nil cap decision. However, as a society we cannot place men’s interest in “sexual entertainment” over the safety of all women.
For those living in Bristol who would like to share their views you can feedback on the consultation here: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/BristolSexEstablishmentPolicy2021/