Police in the Midlands have launched an investigation into an alleged sexual assault of a woman and last weekend’s Download Festival. The incident is believed to have occurred in the early hours of Monday morning, and a 21-year -old man from Derbyshire has been arrested connection to the incident.
Per Loudersound, the alleged assault took place between 12.45am and 3.30am in a grassed area at the top of Car Park C, which is the car park on the steep slope at the site.
The as-yet-unnamed man has since been released under investigation, while the police continue their work around the case, with feststival-goers reporting that several tents were cordoned off at the site during Monday morning, with forensic officers also sighted at the Donnington festival.
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Police said: “The victim is being supported by specialist officers while inquiries into the incident are carried out.”, whilst also urging anyone with any knowledge or information of the incident to come forward.
Those in charge of the festival- which was headlined by Avenged Sevenfold, Ozzy Osbourne, and a reformed Guns N’ Roses- have also confirmed that they are working with the police to get to the bottom of the incident.
This grim news comes in tandem with a poll by the Press Association, that some 22% of all British festival attendees have received some form of unwanted sexual behaviour, with around 30% of women facing this, and shockingly 43% of women under 40.
Specifically, the most common forms of unwanted sexual behaviour experienced by respondents came in the form of forceful dancing and sexual verbal harassment. Another eleven percent of women had experienced sexual assault while they were conscious, in contrast to three per cent of men. Four percent of women also said they faced a sexual assault while unconscious or asleep, compared to two per cent of men.
Undoubtedly indicative of a huge, widespread problem with all British festivals, Tracey Wise, founder of campaign group Safe Gigs For Women, said: “We have struggled to find anyone with any definite statistics on this before now.
“It gives us something to show to festival organisers so we can say ‘you need to take this on board.”