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DanceWize's NEW
Gender Based Violence and Mental Health 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 Gender Based Violence (GBV,) other onsite traumas and mental health/psychological distress.  

The service acknowledges that there are often disclosures of GBV in the DW 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, event staff and volunteers.  

DW acknowledges that responding to GBV, trauma and psychological distress at music festivals is unique and requires specialist knowledge about responding to AOD, trauma and mental health presentations and the service is provided by peers with appropriate qualifications and 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 on primary and secondary prevention – providing consultation to festivals about ways to reduce the risk of GBV that includes training and reviewing of policies and procedures, and offering onsite services that are designed to respond to and lessen the immediate and long term of harm of GBV, respond to more complex mental health presentations or onsite traumas, and provide debriefing to staff and volunteers,  The service is trauma-informed, focusing on responding to and supporting people in care through establishing safety and trust, valuing client centred care, upholding 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 DW Chill Area 

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

  • Provision of temporary accommodation 

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

  • Ability to engage with the event’s local CASA, to ensure that local area SOCIT teams are aware of the event and DW counsellors. Local CASA’s have at times been present onsite with a resource table and as part of the DW team.   

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

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

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


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 meant to complement and enhance DanceWize core operations.

When the service is requested, the DW GBV and Mental Health service works in collaboration with core operations staff and volunteers to enhance the overall well-being of patrons and staff at festivals and events.

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. 


More information about the service can be requested by  

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