The Good Night Out Vancouver (“GNO”) Granville Street Team is returning to the entertainment district on July 23rd after a hiatus during the COVID-19 pandemic. The mandate of this outreach team is to support nightlife, hospitality, music, and arts spaces to build their capacity to prevent and respond to sexualized violence.
Where: Granville Street (from Robson to Drake) on Friday & Saturdays, midnight to 4:00am year-round.
Granville Street Team
The outreach team was started in 2017 in response to a City of Vancouver Motion that called for stakeholders in the Granville Entertainment District (“GED”) to work together to address concerns about disorder in the area on the weekends.
GNO deploys 4 members, who are dressed in peach to support the safety of vulnerable people in the area on the weekends. They carry backpacks with water, juice, snacks, harm reduction materials, sexual assault information and resources, naloxone, and portable phone chargers.
The establishments in the area are all provided with posters to advertise the program, and the security staff are given the teams cell phone number to call them directly. The team is currently funded by Destination Vancouver and the City of Vancouver.
Stacey Forrester, Education Director and GNO Co-Founder has supplied additional information about the important work the organisation is doing in the community, and why:
Granville Street Team Objectives:
- Liaising with licensed establishments within the Granville Entertainment district to help ensure the safety of vulnerable patrons during closing egress;
- Acting as eyes and ears on the street.
- Offering a proactive and often preventative solution to street disorder.
- Acting as skilled bystanders when gendered or homophobic or other harassment is witnessed.
- Distributing harm reduction supplies and information, including consent information.
- Acting as first responders to overdoses as needed.
- Linking people who have been victims of assault to the VPD or to other organisations if they request.
- Assisting vulnerable patrons to access public transit, taxis or ride share services
- Helping patrons charge phones for safety reasons.
- Supporting the safety of low-income and street entrenched community as well as sex workers on the street at the time the team is out.
- Providing employment and training for people who may have had their income impacted by COVID-19.
- Help women and marginalised genders feel safer in public space, a key priority identified in the City’s Women’s Equity Strategy 2018-2028.
According to the Vancouver Police Department, the largest number of sexual assault reports came from the Downtown Central Business District, which encompasses the GED [Source]. Of the 1,431 sexual assaults reported between 2016-2019, groping accounted for approximately 80 percent.
Every Fall, GNO hosts its own survey on perceptions of Safety in the GED. While there was not one in the Fall of 2020 due to COVID, the 2019 Survey found:
- 87% of respondents reporting feeling unsafe while out on Granville Street with the most common reason being actions related to disorderly / intoxicated patrons;
- In the Granville Entertainment District (GED), the most commonly witnessed types of street harassment were gendered, racialized, and homophobic harassment (Good Night Out Vancouver, 2019).
About Good Night Out Vancouver
Along with the street team, GNO also offer education services that include free training, funded by the Provincial Government, to restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, and other social spaces. While the team is expected to fund raise at least a third of the annual budget, you can also support their efforts through online donations, and by spreading the word on social media: Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Let folks know to look for the Granville Street Team again starting July 23rd.