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16 Days of Activism with UN Women: A Safe Space for Reporting

A recent MU survey revealed 48% of musicians have experienced sexual harassment at work. Over 85% did not report it.

Poster with illustration of two women dancing happily reading #ForTheLoveOfMusic, find out more at theMU.org/safespace
No-one should experience or fear sexual harassment, abuse, bullying or discrimination on campus or at work.

That’s why we launched the Protect Freelancers Too campaign, to close a gap in the laws preventing sexual harassment that mean some freelancers like musicians don’t have the same protections or access to justice as other working people.

But why don't people report it, and what can we do about it?

Workplace culture

The number one reason for not reporting is workplace culture, according to our survey (56%). We’ve heard from musicians who were told it was ‘banter’, that they were being a ‘killjoy’, or that it was just the nature of things.

41% of musicians said they did not report their harassment due to fear of losing work, and 32% because of the expectation that the issue would not be handled properly.

28% did not think they would be believed or taken seriously.

That’s not all

It’s not unusual for there to be few or no witnesses to sexual harassment that takes place, which is why 20% of people surveyed told us they did not report it.

We’ve also heard from musicians who did not report because of celebrities in the room, because they feared for their safety, and because they were worried other people would find out about it.

We’ve heard from musicians who are not sure if what they experienced counted as sexual harassment at work.

And we’ve heard from musicians who were sexually harassed in front of other people who did or said nothing. The survey backs that up – while 48% of musicians surveyed have experienced sexual harassment at work, 58% of musicians told us they had witnessed it.

Safe Space

No-one should experience or fear sexual harassment, abuse, bullying or discrimination on campus or at work. But if they do, it’s important that there is somewhere they can go.

That’s why the MU started the Safe Space project. If you have, whatever your role in the music industry, you can report it in confidence to safespace@theMU.org.

16 Days

Sexual harassment can and does affect everyone, but the statistics show the vast majority of people who experience gender-based violence – including sexual harassment - are women and girls.

That’s why the MU is proud to take part in 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence spearheaded by UN Women.

One of the key themes is believing women. No excusing the perpetrators. No jokes about gender-based violence. No blaming women. No using language that normalises sexual harassment. No being a bystander.

Take action now

The MU is proud to take part in 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence spearheaded by UN Women. Follow on the MU on Twitter and Instagram to get involved, or sign up as an MU Supporter for free for the latest campaigns news.


Published: 06/12/2019

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