Making Spaces Safer – Zine


Shawna Potter, lead singer of War On Women, has been a musician for over twenty years—and has been sexually harassed, discriminated against, or made to feel unsafe for just as long. Recently, she’s been training venues of all kinds to be safer spaces for people who experience harassment.

This pamphlet is her DIY guide for any music, art, or community space looking to make the world a better place. It’s a detailed and radical call for our communities (not just the survivors) to take power back from harassers and abusers without involving police or other authorities.



About the Author

Shawna Potter is a musician, activist, educator, and writer. She fronts the political hardcore punk band War On Women and is the founder of Hollaback! Baltimore. Shawna trains venues for the Safer Spaces Campaign, which she also co-founded. She currently lives in Baltimore, Maryland, with her partner and a porch cat that visits when the weather’s nice.

  • Paperback: 110 pages
  • Publisher: AK Press
  • Language: English


“Every time someone wants me to prove sexism in the scene exists I am not going to tell them about having beer spat in my face while I’m singing or about men screaming ‘shut up’ while I’m talking between songs. I’m gonna hand them this book and say ‘No more horror stories, here are some solutions.'” —Kathleen Hanna, Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, and The Julie Ruin

“Never underestimate the tenacity and creativity of Shawna Potter. Here’s her badly needed how-to book for people who don’t feel they have much power to tap into, nurture, and use … then help others to do the same. Make a public space safe, without retreating from reality’s trigger warnings into a walled off fantasy cocoon.” —Jello Biafra, Dead Kennedys and Alternative Tentacles Records

“Shawna Potter’s work represents the best of punk and DIY values—an insistence that we don’t need to wait for politicians or anyone else to act. We can lead by example.” —Will Potter, author and TED Senior Fellow

“Punk made a promise of a freer, fairer, safer, and saner world, but never fulfilled it. Shawna Potter has written a field manual for how, inch by inch and scene by scene, we get there.” —Spencer Ackerman, The Daily Beast

Making Spaces Safer has so many clear tactics for making shows more inclusive and welcoming, and, as a side effect, more fun for everyone. Whether you book bands, tend bar, want to look out for the wellbeing of your fellow music fans, or own the whole damn club.   Great tips that will help you make your space rule.” —Sadie Dupuis, Speedy Ortiz

Additional information

Weight 3 oz


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