Digging into the Data of Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment at Sea

There has been a lack of data detailing sexual violence and harassment at sea. However, in 2019, an organization was founded, Safer Waves, to conduct research and provide support to those who work on the water and have experienced sexual violence and harassment. Kicking off the organization’s launch, a survey obtained information on the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment offences and to inform decisions for the future directions of Safer Waves.

In Safer Waves’ initial survey, 72.5% of participants identified as female and 27.5% male. The vast majority of participants were living in Europe and North America, with participants from Asia accounting for 8%, and participants living in Africa, Australasia and South America accounting for less than 2.5% each.

Participants were asked if they had experienced any of the following forms of abuse/discrimination: discrimination based on gender, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. The majority of respondents had experienced one or more, with only 26% of respondents stating that they had not been subjected to any of these forms of abuse. A summary of the survey findings can be found here.

As a registered charity, Safer Waves aims to create a safe space, providing information and signpost to other suitable welfare charities globally and locally. Today on the Women Offshore Podcast, hear from Becky of Safer Waves. She shares what Safer Waves discovered in the data they have collected and what her organization is working on to support mariners around the globe.

To learn more about Safer Waves, reach out at https://saferwaves.org/.

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.

  1. RAINN-Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network: https://www.rainn.org/about-sexual-assault , 24/7 Hotline: 1-800-656-HOPE(4673)
  2. National Sexual Violence Resource Center: https://www.nsvrc.org/
  3. Victim Connect: Confidential Referrals for Crime Victims: https://victimconnect.org/learn/types-of-crime/sexual-assault/, 1-855-484-2846
  4. SeafarerHelp: https://www.seafarerhelp.org dial +44 20 7323 2737email [email protected]
  5. Safer Waves: https://saferwaves.org/

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Women Offshore

About The Author: Women Offshore

The Women Offshore Foundation is an online organization and resource center for a diverse workforce on the water. Its mission is to propel women into meaningful careers through access to a worldwide community and professional development resources, while raising awareness amongst industry leaders and decision makers about issues affecting women on the water. Contact Women Offshore today: [email protected].

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