Prevention expert weighs in on how to keep yourself and others safe during WE Fest this year
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -
WE Fest organizers say they already had plans to increase security in efforts to keep people as safe as possible this year. Even before the recent police shooting in Fargo, they planned on implementing security checks including K9′s and a private security company to clear campers of weapons.
“We have full searches as people come into the campgrounds,” explains owner and event producer, Matt Mithun.
In addition to the new security measures implemented by owner, the Becker County Sheriff’s Office says they’re specifically targeting underage drinking, this year.
While law enforcement and event security are committed to overall safety at WE Fest, experts at the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center in Fargo say sexual assault is still a potential risk.
“It’s really not WE Fest that’s the problem, it’s not drinking that’s the problem, it’s the people that are perpetrating the violence that’s the problem,” says Anna St. Amant, the Prevention Education Supervisor at the RACC.
She says if you notice suspicious behavior or feel uncomfortable, to be direct with the person making you feel that way, delegate help to an officer or staffer at the event, or attempt to find a distraction from the situation.
She explains that overall, “It doesn’t come down to the person protecting themselves, it’s us as a community looking out for each other. We want to be bystanders and really start keeping an eye on the crowd, keeping an eye on our friends, and really trying to address problems before they escalate,” she explains.
If you or someone you know needs help following a sexual assault during WE Fest, the city of Detroit Lakes has a crisis and resource center you can visit or call.
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