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Calls for bar staff, security to undergo mandatory drink spiking training


A Newcastle-based not-for-profit organisation has launched a petition requesting security and bar staff undergo mandatory drink spiking and sexual violence training.

Following several successful campaigns in the region since its formation in 2021, What Were You Wearing? is now calling on the NSW Government to implement measures to protect patrons in all licenced venues throughout the state.

But, the group needs strong local support as soon as possible to achieve its goal.

The timeframe for the petition, which requires 20,000 signatures in order for it to be debated in the Legislative Assembly, ends on 25 May.

What Were You Wearing

What Were You Wearing? founder Sarah Williams said the proposed training program – covering drink spiking and sexual violence prevention, response and reporting – would be developed in consultation with industry stakeholders and experts in the field, as well as survivors.

“I believe it’s a matter of high importance,” she stated.

“Such initiatives, as the one we’re proposing, are essential for ensuring the safety of people in licenced venues and for preventing sexual violence in the community.

“We cannot ignore the serious and growing problem of drink spiking and sexual violence in those premises.

“So, we are asking the NSW Parliament to take urgent action.

“This is a critical step towards creating safer and more inclusive communities for everyone.

“According to Australia’s National Research Organisation, one-in-five women have experienced sexual violence in licenced venues.

“These incidents not only have a devastating impact on the individuals involved, but also have wider implications for public safety and community wellbeing.”

What Were You Wearing? began as a university project with the aim of educating, advocating and supporting those affected by sexual violence.

For further details about the petition, visit

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