Surge in online sexual harassment whilst women worked from home during the Covid-19 pandemic

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13 October, 2021

Do you and your team have the confidence to respond to workplace sexual harassment?

Every day, people across the UK are being sexually harassed at work. TUC research reveals that 1 in 2 women workers, 7 in 10 LGBT workers and 7 in 10 disabled women workers have experienced sexual harassment at work, but 4 out of 5 victims don’t feel able to report the abuse to their employer. Rights of Women ran a similar survey this year which showed a significant surge in online sexual harassment whilst women worked from home during the Covid-19 pandemic.The charity reported that 72% of women don’t feel their employer is doing enough to protect or support them when they experience sexual harassment or abuse at work.

So are VCSE organisations aware of the prevalence of workplace harassment and the emerging trends in digital sexual harassment in the workplace? Somerset and Avon Rape and Sexual Abuse Support (SARSAS), a Bristol-based charity and Voscur member, is committed to reducing sexual violence and abuse across the South West and are seeking input from our sector.

Workplaces and education settings are spaces where sexual harassment and abuse occurs, but SARSAS work with schools, universities, health services and employers to ensure that these are places where people feel safe.

Claire Bloor CEO at SARSAS says "Managers, teachers and health professionals are often the first people to hear when someone has experienced sexual harassment, abuse or violence. If staff have the right training and support, this can make all the difference when it comes to reporting and dealing with the issue at an early stage before the abuse escalates. For this reason, we continue to work in partnership with schools, universities, colleges and employers across the South West to support them in tackling sexual harassment, abuse and violence”

If you’re a manager, SARSAS would like your views on tackling sexual harassment and sexual violence in the workplace. Take part in their survey - click on this link: . The survey is anonymous and takes about 10 minutes to complete.

At the end of the survey, you’ll have the chance to enter the survey prize draw where you can win shopping vouchers worth up to £100.

The survey closes: 15 November 2021 (midnight)