Raw Lines is a social media initiative developed by the Mushroom Group and backed by the Victorian Government.
Mushroom Group has today (August 29) launched a social media initiative aimed at educating young audiences on what constitutes abusive behaviours like sexual harassment, disrespect and violence, and the importance of calling them out.
Formally backed by the Victorian Government, the Raw Lines initiative consists of an educational video – which will be shared and promoted across all major social platforms – and an accompanying website offering resources for education on, and support for victims of, the aforementioned forms of abusive behaviour.
Artists appearing in the main video (which you can see for yourself below) include Ngaiire, Hatchie, Ella Hooper of Killing Heidi, Scott Baldwin of The Rubens and Mo’Ju. It shows them each using a word to describe abuse – respectively “despicable”, “violation”, “intimidation”, “inexcusable” and “offensive” – interspersed with statistics on abusive behaviour in Australia.
For example, the video notes that one in every five women aged 15 and over, and one in 16 men of the same age bracket, have experienced sexual violence at least once. Furthermore, one in two women and one in four men will have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime. As it’s noted at the end of the video, “these statistics are even higher for people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ and First Nations communities.”
In a press statement, Ros Spence (Victoria’s Minister for Prevention of Family Violence) said the Raw Lines initiative was opportune because of the influential power held by the state’s music industry, allowing its message to spread further than it would by another avenue.
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“Sexual and gender-based violence and harassment is preventable,” she wrote, “and every single one of us has a role to play in creating safe, equal and respectful communities. I commend these artists for speaking out and raising awareness of what constitutes violence and highlighting the importance of calling out sexist behaviours and abuse.”
The launch of Raw Lines is timely. In September of 2022, the inaugural Raising Their Voices report – an independent review into sexual harm, sexual harassment and systemic discrimination in the Australian music industry – found that misconduct was rife amid the scene. The report surveyed more than 1,600 people working in the contemporary music industry, and of them, 72 percent of women, 39 percent of men and 85 percent of non-binary people reported at least one experience of sexual harassment.
In January of this year, Support Act launched a bespoke guide into sexual misconduct, bullying and discrimination, with its aim being help artists identify when they're being mistreated, and quantify the right steps to take afterwards.