Listener & Reader Discretion Advised
This episode contains content that may be alarming to some listeners. We advise listener and reader discretion. Specific stories related to sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH) are played between 7 minutes 46 seconds and 10 minutes 02 seconds. We do our best to hold these topics with intention and sincerity, and we hope you’ll listen in only when you feel ready and able. Check the show notes for support resources and please take care of yourself.
The #metoo movement that propelled around the world in 2017, now also includes the shipping industry. Episode 46 highlights the #metoo movement offshore with a group of women coming together to share their personal stories of sexual assault and sexual harassment (SASH) at sea. Cajsa Fransson from the Swedish Maritime Administration and Carolina Kihlstrom from SweShip (Sweden’s Shipowners Association) join Ally Cedeno discussing the Vågrätt (Fair Winds) project and #lattaankar video.
Latta Ankar (Anchor Aweigh) is a Facebook group that provides a space for women to share experiences that they consider to be anchors weighing them down. During the #metoo movement, over a thousand Swedish female seafarers joined Latta Ankar. They chose the name because the experiences of these women were an anchor, weighing them down. By telling their stories, the victims released that anchor, ridding themselves of the shame that they’ve been burdened with for so long.
Ally highlights specific timestamps where excerpts of actual audio stories are shared, which is important to know before listening to make a personal choice if you’d like to listen. The stories are read by volunteers due to the victims wanting to remain anonymous. As you listen, ask yourself what you can do to prevent SASH on the water.
The recited stories are part of the Anchors Aweigh video that debuted in January 2018 at a Swedish Maritime conference. Cajsa and Carolina discuss the power of the spoken word and the impact of real-life experiences; the video release was the point of no return, ridding doubt as to whether or not SASH occurs offshore. We advise listener and reader discretion when listening to this podcast episode and viewing the Anchors Aweigh video. To view the entire video with English subtitles, click here.
Swedish unions, shipping companies and maritime administration joined together in support of the video. As a result, the Fair Winds Project was created, producing webinars, seminars and research projects to build momentum for change around SASH. The Fair Winds project is also part of the Platform for Change, a European Commission initiative.
In response to Latta Ankar, women are strengthened by mutual support of each other, empowered to advocate and speak up for themselves, and to demand dignity, respect and the right to live and work in a hostile-free workplace. This episode shows how the willingness of one voice can impact industry change to take reports and complaints more seriously, stand-up for seafarers, and acknowledge SASH at sea does exist.
If you or someone you know experienced a sexual assault or sexual harassment, you are not alone.
We encourage you to report such matters to your employer, academy, school, or union as per their guidelines. For example, this may be your HR partner, captain, or designated person ashore. It can be hard to speak up, but it is a necessary step in seeking help and breaking the cycle of sexual assault and sexual harassment.
The following is a list of resources to also utilize.
- RAINN-Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network: https://www.rainn.org/about-sexual-assault , 24/7 Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE(4673)
- National Sexual Violence Resource Center: https://www.nsvrc.org/
- Victim Connect: Confidential Referrals for Crime Victims: https://victimconnect.org/learn/types-of-crime/sexual-assault/, 1-855-484-2846
- SeafarerHelp: https://www.seafarerhelp.org dial +44 20 7323 2737; email email@example.com
- Safer Waves: https://saferwaves.org/
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Women Offshore is an online organization and resource center for a diverse workforce on the water. Its mission is to shine a light on women in operations, provide resources to foster long-term careers, and share the latest efforts on gender diversity and inclusion in the offshore and maritime industries. Contact Women Offshore today: firstname.lastname@example.org