THERE are calls for action to transform a “male dominated” naturist beach into a safe and inclusive space for all after reports of voyeurism and inappropriate behaviour.
Campaigners say Brighton nudist beach, in Kemp Town, is used almost exclusively by men and a lack of safeguarding measures means some people “can get away with unwanted behaviours”, which puts others off using the beach, including women, transgender and non-binary people.
One woman who occasionally goes to the nudist beach said: “I’d like to use it and feel safe and I wish there were more women. It would be great if we could change its reputation as a seedy area.
“People say ‘well it’s the naturist beach, so what do you expect’ and so on.
“But this enables people to get away with it and the authorities don’t take it seriously.”
Bella Kirkus, 51, from East Brighton, said she has witnessed incidents of women being photographed without their consent and men “covertly pleasuring themselves”.
She said: “I would not actually call myself a naturist – I just don’t like wet swimming costumes and I’m lazy.
“It’s somewhere I like to go on my own but I’ve got more and more cross with some of the behaviour.
“Sometimes you will get men coming to sit too near you. I become hyper-vigilant when I see groups of young women as they will usually get circled by men who will start acting up. It’s rife.
“I used to just leave the beach, but that’s outrageous. Women should not have to be vigilant in order to be in a public place.
“You get people saying, what do you expect, it’s a nudist beach – yet in Europe you are expected to behave more respectfully on naturist beaches.”
Campaigners have suggested measures to improve the area and say the council has a duty to protect those using the naturist beach.
Source: The Argos
Original publication 7 April, 2021
Posted on NatCorn 21st April 2021
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