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Byron Shire
July 4, 2022

How to deal with nude-beach harassment

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Paul Spooner takes the easy way out, proposing to cancel the clothing-optional beach near Grays Lane. But effort is needed to fix the issues there.

If someone assaults a person at an AFL game the local council doesn’t cancel the matches. Sexual assault needs to be stopped. Lying naked on the sand doesn’t mean your head is in it; and has nothing to do with assault.

The issue is about protecting ourselves from unwell people. Last Tuesday a naked Swedish tourist was at North Beach. A naked man came up and sat close to her, asking questions. She looked distressed and uncomfortable. A male nudist [MN] suspicious of the man’s intentions went over and asked why he was sitting so close. Within seconds he left.

I spoke to MN. He suggested five techniques:

1. Wave an unwanted visitor away 2. If they don’t leave, tell them to leave 3. If they don’t leave, pick up your phone and tell them you will call the police 4. If they don’t leave, call out for help from other beachgoers then take a photo of them 5. If he doesn’t leave, call the police.

This is about empowerment. Naturists say that nudity is not about sex.

For men, it’s about protecting the women in our community. If you see a woman being harassed, tell the harasser to go away. Get support from other people. Take photos. If all else fails, call the police – remembering it takes time for their arrival.

As a community, we must deal with this problem.

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  1. Ralph Lee Cass accuses Cr Paul Spooner of taking the easy way out. After reading the RLC remedies for dealing with sexual predators on beaches, I have to ask, why do we have to be subjected to taking what appears to be his hard way out? I mean, surely we are entitled to expect our beaches to be an environment for relaxation and not the war zone that emerges from the description of tactics to be practised and employed according to the survival manual of RLC.

    Seems to me that the insistence on rights for clothes-optional public spaces is a first world problem. It seems to me to be a small price to pay be expected to don a pair of swimming trunks, in the case of men or other swimwear in the case of women, if it will put a stop to the unsavoury behaviour and characters attracted by clothes-optional beaches.

    While I understand there can be some virtue and pleasure in basking in the sun and feeling the breeze on your skin without the restrictions of man-made attire on the body, there should be plenty of opportunity for individuals to achieve this in a private fashion, either in their own private space or somewhere where they do not need to impose themselves onto others in the community who simply want to go to the beach and can be content to feel relaxed and comfortable even while wearing swimwear, often a more attractive sight than the gratuitous flaunting of bareness.

    For those, clothed members of the community, who use Tyagarah as their local beach, the easy option has been denied to them far too long. The invasion of unsavoury types, who advertise this destination widely on the web as a pick-up site for sexual encounters, has becoming overbearing. The ideal of a naturalist beach zone has been wholly corrupted. The clothes-optional status introduced decades ago has been degraded and is no longer fit for the times. Cr Paul Spooner is correct in moving that the Council needs to investigate other solutions and ironically his initiative has the support of the Australian federation of Naturalists.

    • Of course! I will just put on a bikini and then i will be absolutely safe from sexual predators!!

      Raph, thank you for your offer of protection and for encouraging other men to do likewise. Wish there were more men around like you. Being abused and harassed by strange/unwell men in the Byron area was one of the reasons i left.

    • Yep that is a slippery slope – the only reason you see hijabs and then full length burkas is because of the runaway thinking that how a woman dresses will increase the chance of her being assaulted. When in actual fact, the statistics do not show this. The statistics show assault is purely opportunistic. The most popular outfit to be raped in is a jogging outfit. The reason the statistics show this is because women jogging alone are the most vulnerable prey.

      I repeat – it’s got nothing to do with how someone is dressed – its opportunistic. If the pervs think they can get away with something, they’ll do it. And the only way to change this is to make repercussions immediate and real, and make a show of it, so anyone else who is watching or hears about it, will think twice. There is only one language these kind of people understand.


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