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Addressing the plague of sexual violence in Milwaukee's music scene

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Content Warning: This episode contains content related to sexual violence. For educational resources around sexual assault, refer to RadioMilwaukee.org/saam.

Radio Milwaukee’s mission is straightforward: to help make Milwaukee inclusive. That also means safety, where folks can freely express themselves while feeling safe from and not subject to abuse and harassment.

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Erin Bagatta
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DJ Fortune

When going out in Milwaukee, unwanted sexual advances have become an unfortunate norm, and for women in the music industry, there’s an even greater risk of nightlife sexual violence. As an organization, we want to know how women are doing in the local music scene, and from what I can tell, it's not that great.

You had a rough work week, and you want to let loose. You've decided you're calling up your friends and going out. You're going to dance your heart out. Dancing is an easy way to feel free and shake off that tension.

However, the reality is that when I'm out, I can never fully relax. I'm always on guard. I'm making sure my friends know my location and vice versa. My eye is on my friend's drinks, and somehow we end up creating a barrier with our bodies so we protect ourselves from unwanted touches. There's always a fear there might be a confrontation if you say no. A night that was supposed to be carefree ends up being a night full of anxiety and fear.

I spoke with Fortune, an electronic DJ, on rape culture and victim-blaming within Milwaukee’s music scene.

Audio Storyteller | Radio Milwaukee