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Harry Potter star Emma Watson launches #MeToo legal advice helpline

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Free service includes guidance on NDAs and settlement agreements

A free helpline backed by British actor and activist Emma Watson will offer free legal advice to women in England and Wales who have experienced sexual harassment at work.

The expert guidance is supplied by legal charity Rights of Women, whose female volunteers and employment lawyers will offer callers guidance on what behaviour constitutes sexual harassment, how to bring a claim at an employment tribunal, as well advice on settlement and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs).

Kickstarted from donations from members of the public, including Watson, the specialist service enjoys backing from Time’s Up UK Justice and Equality Fund, and is managed by Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls. It stands as the UK’s only free legal helpline for women facing sexual harassment in the workplace.

The new dedicated telephone line follows findings by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), a federation of trade unions in England and Wales, that as many as one in two women experienced sexual harassment at work.

“While sexual harassment is one of the most common forms of violence against women, it has remained a hidden issue with many women believing it was an inevitable part of their jobs or that it would jeopardise their careers to assert their legal rights,” explained Seyi Newell, a senior legal officer at Rights of Women.

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By plugging the gap in workplace protection, it is hoped that women will be empowered to hold their harassers and employer to account. Harry Potter star Watson said:

Understanding what your rights are, how you can assert them, and the choices you have if you’ve experienced harassment, is such a vital part of creating safe workplaces for everyone, and this advice line is such a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work.

In the wake of the global #MeToo movement, which has seen women come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and sexual abuse, Watson regards this service as a step in the right direction. She continues:

“It finally feels like people are realising the scale of the problem, and I’m certainly hopeful that with global standards such as the recent International Labour Organisation treaty on harassment at work, we’ll start to see a new climate of prevention and accountability on this issue domestically.”

A rise in the number of sexual misconduct cases across the legal profession has resulted in an increased workload for the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), according to a recent report.

The regulator has also recently faced mounting pressure from MPs to clampdown on the ‘cover-up culture’, which sees lawyers draft up questionable NDAs to prevent alleged victims of sexual assault or harassment from speaking out.

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41 Comments

Anonymous

Stop propagating leftist drivel.

(13)(19)

Anonymous

By “leftist drivel” you presumably mean “advising people of their rights in law?” Dangerous stuff indeed.

(20)(6)

Anonymous

Shut up, you fat piece of gammon.

(4)(13)

Anonymous

Sick burn lol

(1)(1)

Anonymous

Advice on how to lie and bounce employers into settling?

(25)(10)

Anonymous

Exactly. The vast majority of NDAs are used to see off claims by failed employees looking for something on the way out. One only pays for the silence and to avoid the hassle of proving they are full of crap.

(15)(5)

Anonymous

50%? I reckon 80% would be low.

(5)(3)

Anonymous

*sees a lawyer* – your actions were discriminatory on all grounds of my perceived existence – give me money for hurting my sensitive feelings.

(0)(0)

Anonyman

Yawn. Whilst there are of course incidents of this happening, the vast majority of reports with be based upon hyperbole.

“Eugh, a colleague asked me out for a drink, how dare he?!”

“That man walked past me and whilst doing so his arm brushed my shoulder. What a sleaze!”

“At work, we have like, this stupid dress code, and apparently I’m not allowed to wear a short skirt?! Ugh, in this day and age!”

“A colleague had the audacity to look at me and smile when he walked past me. Disgusting!”

What a tedious time we live in.

SAD!

(20)(10)

Random passer-by

I worked with a girl (at the time in her mid 20s) who complained that a guy asked her to make the tea in a meeting. She was of course the youngest person in the room (not the only woman I should add), but that didn’t matter. As a young, privately educated white woman, the fact a man asked her to make the tea publicly was repeated over and over again as evidence that there was sexism in our particular industry sector. So even though no formal complaint was ever made, the man who asked the question had his reputation slightly diminished in the workplace by the rumours spread on this pathetic incident.

(7)(0)

Anonyman

Albeit initially trivial, the sheer number of stories like this is starting to have an impact. The whole idea of ‘toxic masculinity’ combined with the hyperbole of sexual harassment and the new wave women’s right movement in general, is undeniably having a dire impact on the mental health of men.

(4)(1)

Derrick

It is good that she found her passion. She is clearly very beautiful.

(6)(9)

Anonymous

Good to see this has drawn out the usual band of triggered right wing snowflakes to impotently screech about women having legal rights.

(7)(12)

Anonymous

Leftist trash doesn’t fly in the states – see Brett Kavanaugh and his successful appointment. Only a matter of time until justice is restored in the UK, too.

(12)(4)

Anonymous

Idk if I agree… but it’s NOT a ‘legal right’ to falsely complain about sexual harassment. Sexual assault is being cracked down on without all these needless ‘helplines’.

(1)(5)

Anonymous

The only ones putting ‘trigger’ warnings on things are delusional leftist children who somehow fit radical islam and LGBT in the same sentence. Back to your cave, neckbeard.

(3)(6)

Anonymous

It’s actually amazing you manage to mobilise so quickly upon any mention of a woman or a non-white person. Seriously – what triggers you so much about people who have been sexually harassed getting legal advice? Presumably fear that any women who have been subjected to your sweaty sausage fingers might do something about it.

(8)(2)

Anonymous

Yes, the refusal to recognise
the high incidence of false accusations of this nature (such as the comment about ‘sausage fingers’) suggests that the initiative is going to be used to coach false accusers in the right buzzwords to use and what not to say with the aim of securing payouts from employers, replacing male managers and partners with female ones, and ruining the lives of innocent male victims.

(3)(1)

Anonymous

Incidence is no higher than that of supposed ‘racism’ in the workplace. It’s a myth. The words have lost all meaning because of idiots like you and Ms Watson repeating them in a genericidal manner.

Anonymous

Can you provide a source that indicates the prevalence of false accusations? Because all I’ve found are official reports showing how a tiny percentage of accusations are false compared to legitimate.

Anonymous

Yes. The official reports you’re reading are wrong. False accusations are extremely common and have fostered a cottage industry.

We are but a product of our surroundings

Paul Ekman did a study on “triggers” for emotions – a fascinating book published as well.

But to elaborate on why I mention this: events or situations that occur on a regular or repetitive basis that cause certain emotions are more likely to cause that emotion to surface the next time this happens and well the cycle repeats to this point.

Women go on about these things a lot. Perhaps the initial perception of the person listening to those complaints on a rational analysis of the facts as they are aware causes an initial inflection in the psyche – nothing to call your therapist over, but enough for a momentary jolt in the blood pressure.

Again, it is mentioned – the facts do not seem to have changed. The blood pressure spikes a bit longer. Perhaps a twitch in the eye lingers for a moment.

The process goes on. Again; again; and, again. Its no longer a momentary jolt – the emotion clamps in and the inevitable indignation surfaces.

Perhaps the next time, it might be warranted, but its too late now; the trigger has formed. The girl who cried wolf, not once, but many times now, has tarnished the response for the one who girl who has the wolf approaching as we speak.

It is a sustained attack. Perhaps it is not the instant mobilisation, but the trigger that has been nailed into our beings getting pulled once again. Another story, another girl crying wolf; another person suffering our backlash because of the girl who cried wolf.

(0)(1)

Anonymous

One day you’ll realise that you only think this is common because you only ever read articles about false accusations that confirm your view. Keep getting triggered little sheep.

Anonymous

No, its because false accusations are common. If you say you don’t see that its because you’re looking the other way.

Sam

Just spend 5 minutes looking up how common fake rape accusations are. They’re not. Somewhere around 5% is what is often found by studies looking for it, with some giving ranges from 2-10%,never higher than that.

Anonymous

Those surveys ate wrong Sam, as is conflating rape with ‘sexual harassment’. Its a favourite trick of the false accuser.

Anonymous

If a short, balding, middle aged partner asks out an attractive young trainee, it’s harassment. If Chad asks her out, it’s perfectly acceptable. Why?

(4)(0)

Chad Thundercock

Spoken like a true Timothy.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

What’s a Timothy?

(1)(0)

Some Lad Rules

I’m not one to defend the feminist cause, but in your scenario what should the trainee do if a partner asks her out? There is clearly an abuse of power. Yes there is a double standard in the office, but equally part of becoming a grown man is no longer chasing things, whether jobs or women. If they want you, it will be clear to you, presented to you and you act on it. If it is never presented to you, then you are clearly dealing with people above your league and the sooner you accept that the better. But if you want to waste your time and chase skirt, do it outside of the office, there are bars and apps for that sort of thing. Also big age gaps are possible but only after a certain age, and I would say that is 35 plus for women. I say this as a man in his 30s, don’t crack on to interns, grads or trainees in their early or mid 20s in the office. Wait until they’ve given up hope at age 35, then the fat 50 year old partner can flash his cash and have a good chance.

(15)(2)

City

>”Wait until they’ve given up hope at age 35, then the fat 50 year old partner can flash his cash and have a good chance.”

Ha ha, brutal. Harsh, but essentially accurate.

(2)(1)

Anonymous

Too much erotic capital gone by 35 to make it worth the effort.

(1)(2)

Anonymous

I’m surprised that nobody has made this comment yet.

I find it ironic that Rights of Women, a charity that purports to fight discrimination only hire women, (even though that is deemed to be permitted discrimination) when I’m sure there are plenty of men who support women’s rights.

(8)(0)

Anonymous

Fair point to raise. But let’s be honest, we’re a little too busy on the partner track to be bothered with such pro bono affairs.

(7)(0)

Anonymous

Men: “Yea, but why is it not about me as well????? 🙁 🙁 :(“

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Even more ironic that the hastag is called #MeToo but excludes men.

(2)(0)

Anonymous

Will Ron Weasley be setting something up for men?

(4)(1)

Anonymous

Hopefully this service is available to males who have been sexually harassed via false accusations.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

Jesus. I thought about trying to unpack the nonsense you wrote but it nearly gave me an aneurysm.

Instead, let’s just say, and hope, you meant the following:

“Hopefully this service is available to males wishing to make a claim in defamation following false accusations that resulted in some kind of financial loss”.

(2)(2)

Anonymous

No, I meant what I said – I hope that this service is available to males who are victims of sexual harassment, where the sexual harassment is having false allegations of sexual harassment made against them. This is one of the most common forms of sexual harassment. Sorry if you find that hard to process.

And don’t call me Jesus.

(4)(3)

Anonymous

To have an aneurysm it is first necessary to have a brain.

(1)(0)

Comments are closed.

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