Indecent response

FED-UP after years of being groped, touched and the recipients of unwanted male attention in Newcastle night spots, two young women are taking a stand against indecent assault.

Something they claim is occurring with such frequency it has become “normal”. 

Georgia Mueck, 23, and Luci Regan, 21, have created a Facebook page where others can come forward and register their experiences in venues around Newcastle. 

On the first day of the page going live more than 80 women have made shocking claims about their experiences in several Newcastle late-night venues by filling out a confidential form posted on the page. Most of the respondents are aged between 18 and 24. 

The Newcastle and Lake Macquarie Star saw some of the responses submitted to the women, which include incidences of groping to the breasts, bottom and genitals. 

Other women have reported being pulled onto the laps of strangers, pushed against walls and kissed, having their dresses and skirts pulled up, bras unfastened, grabbed forcefully, being digitally penetrated on the dance floor, having their drinks spiked and nipples flicked.

Women reported being abused, having their hair pulled, drinks poured over their heads and spat on when asking the offender to stop. 

Some respondents said venues had failed to take appropriate action, or ignored their reports entirely, when they had complained. 

“The security guards within Newcastle’s nightlife industry are extremely ineffective at handling anything like this, if you were to approach a guard about this they would most likely kick you out,” one respondent said. 

One respondent said she “always expects it to happen” when she goes out and many said they no longer went to late-night venues in Newcastle because of concerns for their personal safety.  

Ms Mueck said the problem in Newcastle was so big many young women going out at night now expected to be sexually harassed.

“If it’s a crowded place there is almost a 100 per cent chance you are going to be groped, felt-up,” she said. 

While it was far from the worst experience Ms Mueck has had in Newcastle late night venues, the tipping point came in the early hours of July 6 at The Argyle House. 

“Some guy sitting behind me reached over and grabbed my arse,” Ms Mueck said. 

Continued on page 2