Actress and women’s rights activist Emma Watson has helped launch a legal advice helpline for women that are experiencing sexual harassment at work.
TUC research has found that one in two women experience sexual harassment in the workplace. In light of this, Watson has said it was “completely staggering” that the free helpline for women in England and Wales was the first of its kind. The advice line hopes to encourage more women to report incidents of sexual harassment at work and hopes more employers will take appropriate action when they are made aware of sexual harassment complaints.
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.”
Watson has long prided herself on being a feminist, serving as a United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador in 2014 and pioneering the #HeForShe campaign. The Harry Potter alum has been previously labeled as a “white feminist,” receiving great criticism for her failure to address her white privilege. However, last year Watson posted on her book club site, “Our Shared Shelf,” a letter acknowledging her own white privilege and a commitment to becoming more of an intersectional feminist, stating is it an “interrogation of self”.
The Independent reported that donations from members of the public, including Watson herself, has helped create the line, which is backed by Time’s Up UK’s justice and equality fund. When women from the UK dial the hotline, they’ll receive advice from a member of Rights of Women, a charity that aims to provide women with legal advice.
If you have experienced any sexual assault at work or are looking for legal advice, please call the helpline on 020 7490 0152.