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Sexual Harassment and Discrimination

Support and Guidance

The MU is here to offer support and guidance if you face sexual harassment, discrimination or abuse at work.

If you are an employed or self-employed musician, regardless of which part of the industry you work in, you can talk to us.  

Contact your Regional Office for advice and assistance:

Every office has at least one female member of staff. If you would prefer to speak to a female member of staff, you can ask to do so at any point. 

All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence and no action will be taken on your behalf without your prior consent. 

Safespace Email Address

We have also set up an email account – safespace@themu.org – to provide a safe space for all musicians to share instances of sexism, sexual harassment and sexual abuse that have occurred in the music industry.

All emails are treated in the strictest confidence and no action will be taken on your behalf without your prior consent.

Music Sector Code of Practice

Together with the ISM, we've launched a joint code of practice to help eradicate bullying, harrassment and discrimination in the music sector.

Sign up to support the code by emailing keith.ames@theMU.org.

View the list of organisations who are already supporting the ISM-MU code of practice.

Further help

If you have been a victim of sexual abuse, we would encourage you to speak to one of the following organisations. They can provide support such as counselling and signposting of specific services to assist you in recovery and advise on reporting the incident to the police should you choose to:

  • Sexual Assault Referral Centre – dial 111 to find the nearest Sexual Assault Referral Centre. They can provide immediate support and advice, including medical examinations and tests, and will not go to the police until you decide if you want to or not.
  • Rape Crisis
  • Victim Support - 08 08 16 89 111
  • Galop (LGBT+) – 0207 704 2040
  • Survivors UK (men)

Naomi Pohl, Musicians' Union (MU) Assistant General Secretary, says: 

“Over the years we have dealt with many individual cases, but this is the first time we have glimpsed the true scale of the problem faced by women working in music. It’s horrific to see how much has been tolerated or dismissed as part and parcel of the job. Let’s hope this is the beginning of real change.

“Traditionally, the MU is approached when harassment or discrimination occurs in an employment situation or when it has affected a musician’s ability to get work. This might be an advert calling for attractive female violinists, for example, or an inappropriate dress policy, or where someone has suffered sustained harassment in a place of employment and wants to put in a grievance. 

“I would like to re-assure members that we can offer advice if sexual harassment, abuse or exploitation occurs in any aspect of their career in music. Our advice and support is here for freelancers as well as employed musicians.

“If you have suffered inappropriate behaviour in the workplace, of any kind, please get in touch and we will listen.”

Related downloads

Appropriate Behaviour Document (PDF 87.7 bytes file opens in new window)

Sexual Harassment Advice (PDF 2.93 MB file opens in new window)

MU ISM Industry Code of Practice 2018 (PDF 648.42 bytes file opens in new window)