The campaign making Brighton’s nightlife safer for women
A company which hosts student events in Brighton is on a mission to make it safer for women to enjoy a night out in the city.
Rox PR Ltd, which hosts regular nights including Runway Fridays at Shoosh and CU Next Tuesday at The Arch, has designed a new campaign called #AskForRoxy which will run at all of its future events.
It consists of a Whatsapp hotline, which can be used by anyone who feels unsafe or threatened, and is accessed by scanning a barcode placed on posters throughout the venue and in toilets.
Two staff members, who will be on call throughout the night at every event, will immediately respond to any messages or calls which come through on the hotline.
People can either choose to remain messaging the hotline until they feel safe, or they can request that the Roxy hotline team meet them and accompany them into safety.
Going forward, the company will only host events at nightclubs which agree to facilitate the campaign.
Clubs must also commit to hold all of their staff – including managers, bar staff and doormen – accountable for their actions.
Venues including Shooshh Brighton and The Arch have already given their support to the campaign.
Rox PR Ltd said the aim is to make sure everyone feels safe in the club environment.
Janelle Sultana, General Manager at Rox PR, said she was ‘incredibly proud’ to launch the campaign.
“As a young female working in a male dominated industry, it wasn’t hard to soon discover that safety and vulnerability was a concern when attending events in Brighton,” she said.
“Girls who were a similar age to me started to open up about feeling unsafe within Brighton clubs.
“I decided it was time to use my position to make a difference and convince clubs to review their policies and facilitate and support our communities’ safety.”
The campaign is inspired by a similar initiative called Ask for Angela, where anyone who feels unsafe can go to the bar and get help from staff by asking for Angela.
Janelle was keen to adapt this approach to make it even easier for people to access help discretely.
As she knows from working in the industry: “It’s not always as simple as going up to the bar and getting someone’s attention. There’s usually a queue or someone in the way.”
The hotline number will be displayed on all of the company’s social media pages, and people can also save it on their phone in case they ever need it.
The launch of the campaign comes as nightclubs across the country gear up to finally reopen on July 19, after more than a year of enforced closure.
And as many students prepare for their first big night out in the city, Janelle said it was important to reassure them that their safety was a priority.
“After covid, some people will feel nervous,” she said. “There’s a whole year of students that haven’t been clubbing before.
“I think it’s our responsibility to make sure that people feel safe.”
She hopes that the rest of the nightlife industry will learn from the campaign – and recognise ‘the power we have to make a difference’.