Consent Captain Tanille Geib combats harassment and sexualized violence in Victoria’s nightlife scene.
Hired by the Victoria Event Centre, consent specialist Geib’s job is to integrate consent, safety, and inclusion for patrons of their downtown Victoria theatre venue and nightclub.
“This is what confronting rape culture in the nightlife scene can look like,” says Geib. “We want to identify issues before they happen, train our staff to take these issues seriously, and be able to let every patron know: ‘Consent matters; harassment and assault are not welcome here’.”
The Consent Captain has worked as a sex health educator and intimacy coach throughout North America.
“The VEC is proud to proactively deal with misconduct on our dance floor and other events that we host, and the #MeToo movement helped us to get serious about this,” says Chris Fretwell, VEC booking coordinator. “We recognize that there are a lot of situations where a traditional bouncer may not be equipped to prevent assault or harassment. We’re excited to bring in this new program to supplement our existing security personnel, and to create a space where everyone in our building can feel safer.”
VEC now boasts posters and information educating on cultivating enthusiastic consent and the house policies alongside #ConsentMatters signage throughout the venue and buttons for patrons and staff. A designated consent staff person counsels patrons being harassed or feeling uncomfortable, uses constructive dialogue to understand the issues, and works to identify problematic behaviour that may lead to sexual assault.
In addition to support during evening events, Geib offers workshops about consent to event promoters, restaurant industry staff, and VEC volunteers. The Consent Captain also works with Karmik Victoria and AIDS Vancouver Island Screw Crew for more support on Harm Reduction and Safer Sex Supplies at busier events.
“Everyone, regardless of age, dress, sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves safety and respect,” Geib says. “Hanging out, drinking, and dancing, should be based on consent, care, pleasure, and setting boundaries.”
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