by Kathryn Helmore
VANCOUVER – Good Night Out, an anti-harassment campaign, has launched a pilot program to provide safety and security for those roaming Vancouver’s Granville Street during its busiest hours.
Created by locals Ashtyn Bevan and Stacey Forrester, GNO utilizes four volunteers, trained in non-violent crisis intervention and First Aid, to ensure the streets of Granville are safer during dark hours, especially for vulnerable persons such as women and those in the LGBTQ community.
Sporting dashing pink T-shirts brandishing the words ‘GNO Squad,’ the ladies will be posted between Robson and Davie Street from 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, starting September 8.
As a former “promo chick” for Fortune Sound Club, Bevan knows a thing or two about harassment on the streets of Granville.
“When I was a promo chick promoting in the city late at night, I never felt safe,” she says. “I don’t think I was the only one who felt this way. Therefore, we wanted to take a more proactive approach to make the Granville entertainment district a more vibrant, accessible, and safe space within Vancouver’s cultural hub.”
GNO’s Nightlife Street Team will act as engaged bystanders, actively stepping in at the sight of harassment, such as inappropriate language and catcalling. The team will be an oasis for those inebriated or disconnected, offering snacks, water, and even portable chargers.
The campaign has been carefully timed to line up with the influx of young university students, many of whom hope to experience Vancouver’s nightlife.
“There are many stakeholders working to make the Granville entertainment district a vibrant, accessible and safe area in Vancouver,” says Bevan. “This vision is one that overlaps with what GNO is trying to do. We certainly feel that this is a proactive, collaborative step towards that vision.”
GNO has faced its fair share of hurdles, including difficulties in public perception, such as being labelled angry feminists. Nevertheless, Bevan is confident that GNO will succeed in helping many get home harassment-free.
“Despite the challenges thrown at us, we will keep adapting and finding new ways to have our initiative make a difference in Vancouver,” she says.
Learn more about Good Night Out at goodnightoutvancouver.com or look out for them on Granville Street.Good Night Out, Granville Street, Nightlife, Vancouver