I’m Nicole Hayden, a health reporter for The Desert Sun/USA Today Network. I focus on researching and compiling data that addresses public health needs and gaps in services. I largely focus on homelessness in the Coachella Valley and southern California. However, during the Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals I decided to use my data collection skills to assess the prevalence of sexual harassment at the festivals. I surveyed about 320 women about their experiences. AMA.

That's all the time I have today! For more visit: https://www.desertsun.com/story/life/entertainment/music/coachella/2019/05/17/1-6-women-sexual-harassment-stagecoach-coachella-2019/1188482001/ and https://www.desertsun.com/story/life/entertainment/music/coachella/2019/04/05/rape-statistics-surrounding-coachella-stagecoach-heres-what-we-found/3228396002/.

Proof: https://i.redd.it/d1db6xvmsz031.jpg

Comments: 3698 • Responses: 18  • Date: 

justscottaustin1595 karma

Did you have a clear definition of harassment, or did you leave it up to the imagination of the interviewee?

thedesertsun_944 karma

This was the question we asked: "Have you been sexually assaulted or sexually harassed (i.e. non-consensual sexual advances like touching or groping) while on the grounds of the festival (i.e. main festival grounds or camp grounds)? "

A_Feathered_Raptor1219 karma

I've noticed sexual harassment in these situations can get dangerous. Someone confronted about it can lash out, maybe even aggressively.

What do you believe is the best way to confront someone about it without tensions escalating? Or should people just come out swinging?

thedesertsun_196 karma

This is a tough question. I would like to say you should report it to festival officials immediately, but we know in the middle of a crowded show it can be hard to find those officials and then also to find the person that did the harassing for those officials to kick out. Some festivals have decided to increase their staffing in hopes to increase safety. I would say not to "come out swinging" though as that might create a more dangerous situation.

disco77777316 karma

How many of the 320 women surveyed were from Coachella and how many were from Stagecoach? Seems like those two festivals have vastly different audiences/demographics, and arguably different sensibilities when it comes to this topic, to be grouped into a 320 person pool (don't they have different attendance #s as well?).

Did you survey any men? It feels important to track the male sensibility in these discussions as well and whether their collective mindset is being affected in the era of #MeToo.

What about the trans community?

What do you like most about Coachella, Nicole? What about Stagecoach?

thedesertsun_398 karma

-187 were from Coachella and 136 were from Stagecoach. We grouped the festivals together because as a geographical survey region they were the same and had comparatively very similar attendance rates. We found there were no difference in the rates of harassment between the festivals.

-we did not survey any men because we only had a small data collection team and would have interviewed twice as many people, so it wasn't doable for us this year.

-Trans women did participate in the survey, but we did not differentiate them within the data

Billgant93 karma

My GF was harassed at a festival and didn't tell me till later cause she was afraid I would retaliate against the guy. I personally think these guys deserve the retaliation of brothers and SO's. My question though is

How much of a factor is the nature of Coachella? Excessive alcohol consumption and recreational drug use is rampant, which in addition to the atmosphere of hyper-sexuality, would make you believe that it only exasperates this issue. Is the percentage women assaulted at Coachella higher than the national average, or is it comparable? Also, were any men sexually assaulted? Where any men surveyed? I'm sure that men are also sexually harassed at Coachella, as I have witnessed my male friends getting harassed at such events. Even though the percentage of women dwarfs the percentage of men, I think it would be important to at least survey the men, and compare the percentage of men harassed at Coachella to the national average.

thedesertsun_186 karma

  1. Local officials say they believe that alcohol and drug use does impact the issue. Both alter peoples' minds, skewing judgement and perhaps making people believe it's ok to touch someone or misread a situation, etc. The festival does have factors, like alcohol and overcrowding, that make the atmosphere more prone to these issues.
  2. You are right, men do experience harassment/assault as well but were not surveyed because we only had one person surveying (me) and we would have had to survey twice as many people and we did not have the capacity or resources to do that.

Billgant100 karma

Just wanted to say thank you for your reporting. I know many will question your story and your data collection and many would rather sweep this under the rug. However, I believe that young women who read your reporting will take measures to be safer when attending future events.

thedesertsun_135 karma

Thank you. However, I believe it is up to the festival organizer and the people doing the harassing to change their ways :)

jetsdude-29 karma

your data says 85% say they weren't sexually harassed. someone else's data says every single one of 54 women interviewed stated they were sexually harassed. how do you screen out people who are either liars, or triggered by absolutely everything because the liberal media tells them to be. Also, of the 320 women interviewed, how many admitted that they themselves grazed a guy's butt as they walked by them? Also, why do you only point out that the male "rape victim" was a confirmed liar, and omit the results of the 7 women who claimed they were raped?

thedesertsun_19 karma

  1. You are correct, there is different data out there. Our USA Today data collection was built on a scientific model in order to obtain a 5% error margin. The Teen Vogue story you are referencing with 54 women was anecdotal and that writer did not use a scientific model. However, all stories are relevant and real.
  2. We know that 75% of those who are sexually harassment or assaulted don't report it. So we know our data isn't skewed by those you call "liars" or "triggered by the liberal media." We know from research that most people who report harassment/assault are telling the truth.
  3. The 1 male rape report was from 2019. The 7 women you are referencing are from 2018 -- we did point out that some of those cases were unfounded, which we fully explained in a prior story here. However, just because they were unfounded doesn't mean someone didn't experience assault/harassment/trauma, it just means the law didn't protect them https://www.desertsun.com/story/life/entertainment/music/coachella/2019/04/05/rape-statistics-surrounding-coachella-stagecoach-heres-what-we-found/3228396002/

chadd283-33 karma

what were they wearing? were they under the influence?

thedesertsun_18 karma

Regardless of what someone is wearing or if they were under the influence, that doesn't give another person the right to sexually harass or assault them.

TuckersLostBowTie3 karma

People walk around naked at Coachella, so I think the question is absolutely relevant.

Also, did you differentiate degrees of harassment? Staring might be considered harassment by some, and that’s far different from physical assault (which would be a crime, and should be reported as such).

thedesertsun_14 karma

You aren't legally allowed to assault someone based on what that person is wearing. I hope you know that is illegal. Someone wearing a revealing top isn't a free pass to consent. Consent means you asked before you touch. If someone is naked, you still don't have the right to harass or assault them.

chadd283-4 karma

agreed. do you think there are contributing factors to being assaulted? i.e. dressing scantily clad or using drugs? i would assume harassment/assault rates are higher at a festival of this kind. was just looking for some factors as to why. wasn't insinuating it gives someone a right.

are these not valid questions?

kamewoni3 karma

They are very valid questions. I think it would be obvious that in an environment where drugs and alcohol are highly present, the rate of carnal-uncivilized activity would be higher. Especially when people (of both genders, I've seen too much) are half or wholly naked while under the influence.

I am not saying it condones it at all, nothing does; there's zero excuse for sexual harassment. I just don't understand how people are surprised or expect much different from these environments considering all the factors that come into play.

thedesertsun_-6 karma

You aren't legally allowed to assault someone based on what that person is wearing. I hope you know that is illegal. Someone wearing a revealing top isn't a free pass to consent. Consent means you asked before you touch. If someone is naked, you still don't have the right to harass or assault them.

thedesertsun_-7 karma

You aren't legally allowed to assault someone based on what that person is wearing. I hope you know that is illegal. Someone wearing a revealing top isn't a free pass to consent. Consent means you asked before you touch. If someone is naked, you still don't have the right to harass or assault them.