DW NEW  Sexual & Gender Based Violence Services

In November 2016, DW expanded its services in response to a need and partnered with a range of collaborators to provide support and infrastructure to festivals to respond to Sexual and Gender Based Violence (GB,) other onsite traumas and psychological distress. 

The service acknowledges that there are often disclosures of GBV in the DanceWize space due to the reputation of DW as a safe and non judgmental place where patrons can discuss any issues relating to their drug use and wellbeing. The service also supports the psychological wellbeing of patrons.

DanceWize acknowledges that responding to GBV at music festivals is unique and requires specialist knowledge about responding to AOD and trauma presentations and the service is provided by experts with extensive experience in the fields of sexual assault, family violence, AOD, trauma and mental health. The services offered are tailored to the industry and acknowledge the unique social, cultural and individual factors of a festival that may result in GBV and psychological distress, paying particular attention to breaking down the barriers to disclosing in the festival context.

The service focuses primary and secondary prevention – providing consultation to festivals about ways to reduce the risk of GBV and offering onsite services that are designed to respond to and lessen the immediate and long term of harm of GBV. The service is trauma informed, focusing on responding to and supporting VS through establishing safety and trust, values client centred care, upholds victim survivor rights, and is guided by the national standards for the delivery of sexual assault services.

Pre-event capacity building and consultation

  • Provision of training on Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Assault at Music festivals (DanceWize and CASA House training) and training booklets

  • Provision of training on Bystander Intervention and Understanding trauma

  • A library of resources available to festivals – brochures for appropriate mental health, sexual assault and family violence services from all across Australia

  • A library of posters available to festivals on consent, supporting survivor’s, responding to disclosures of sexual assault and bystander intervention -developed in collaboration with WestCASA and designed for the music industry

  • Expert consultation on festival sexual assault and harassment policies and procedures, including the provision of templates

  • Festival social media/public messaging advice about consent, GBV and harassment

  • Ability to foster a festivals relationship with local SOCIT’s and CASA’s to ensure that local services are aware of the festival operating

  • Advise event staff of risk factors of GBV at festivals at pre-event planning meetings;

  • Expert advice about the development of processes and procedures relating to the removal of alleged perpetrators

  • Development of flow charts, cheat sheets on responding to sexual assault for event staff


Onsite Service Delivery

  • Provision of a separate safe space behind the DanceWize Chill Area

  • Provision of qualified counsellors who work collaboratively with EMT’s to manage risk of wider festival safety

  • Temporary accommodation options

  • Resources, and expert counselling and advocacy support provided to people in care

  • Ability to engage with local CASA, to assess their ability to be present onsite with a resource table as part of DanceWize GBV Service

  • Ability for counsellors to provide secondary consultation and debriefing to all event staff and volunteers who may have witnessed GBV or have been a first responder

  • Ability for counsellors to respond to other festival incidents at request of EMT

  • Provision of active bystander rovers, who role model bystander intervention and provide education about consent


When this service is requested, the DW GBV Service work in collaboration with DW core operation staff and volunteers to support victim survivors at festivals and events. More information about the service can be requested.


Let's Work Together

DW’s GBV and Mental Health Service is offered as an additional fee for service to festivals and events and is an auxiliary to DanceWize core operations. The GBV and Mental Health Service offers a comprehensive suite of services, and festivals can choose which activities they would like to engage with. The service is focused on interventions that target the whole festival community.


When this service is requested, the DW GBV and Mental Health Service works in collaboration with DW core operations staff and volunteers to support patrons at festivals and events.

More information about the service can be requested by emailing maev@hrvic.org.au