Always call 999 if you are in immediate danger.
Please get in touch with us if you would like other scenarios to be covered on this page.
If you feel unsafe at work:
Sexual harassment is recognised as a form of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 and is therefore against the law. Most organisations and companies have proper procedures for dealing with sexual harassment and complaints.
There are things you can do:
Tell the harasser to stop. Let them know you dislike their behaviour. You could ask another work colleague to do this on your behalf. You can let them know in writing that their behaviour is unreasonable (keep a copy of the letter if you do this). If you want to confront the harasser in person, take someone with you such as a union representative (if you have one), or a senior member of staff.
Confide in someone at work that you trust.
Keep a note of dates and times of each incident, and details of what happened and what was said.
Report the harassment to someone in authority. This can be important if you ever want to take legal action in future.
If the harasser touches you, it is sexual or indecent assault and you can report them to the police if you want to.
If your employer treats you badly or unfavourably because you complain about sexual harassment in the workplace, that is harassment too and you might be able to bring a case under the Equality Act 2010.
If you feel unsafe on public transport:
Those that have talked about their experiences say the worst part about being harassed on public transport is you have no escape. Sexual harassment (or sexual assault) is any unwanted, uncomfortable sexual behaviour towards you.
If any of the following happens to you on any form of public transport, it’s paramount that you report what happened as quickly as possible to the British Transport police, whether that’s by texting (61016), phoning (0800 40 50 40) or telling an officer in person.
- Groping (your bum or boobs, most commonly)
- Standing unnecessarily and intimidatingly way too close to you
- Rubbing up against you
- Making sexual comments towards you
- Leering (staring at you persistently with a creepy smile – you know the kind)
- Taking photos of you (sometimes up your skirt/dress, known as ‘upskirting’)
If you feel unsafe when travelling by taxi:
It’s safer to call a taxi, instead of hailing one, so there’s always a record of which driver has been dispatched. You can take note of the driver’s license/ID number and their photo. If they are a genuine driver they will not mind this - if they do object, where possible, get out; if not possible, send a photo to parents, friend etc. It is also recommended to sit in the back, left-hand seat as it’s the farthest from the driver. Most of the assaults reported to police happened when the passenger is in the front seat.
If you feel unsafe in a pub, club or restaurant:
If you go to the bar and ask for ‘Angela’ the bar staff will know you need some help getting out of your situation and will call you a taxi or help you out discreetly – without too much fuss:
If you feel unsafe at home:
These safety planning tips apply if someone you feel threatened by has access to your home:
- Plan how you may respond in different situations including crisis or emergency. Think about the different options available to you. If you need to seek advice, this can be done anonymously by telephoning the Wales Live Fear Free Helpline: 0808 80 10 800
- Keep with you any important and emergency telephone numbers.
- Teach your children to dial 999 in an emergency and what they would need to say (for example, their full name, address and telephone number).
- Are there neighbours you could trust? Is there somewhere you could go in an emergency? If so, tell them what is going on, and ask them to call the police if they hear sounds of a violent attack.
- Rehearse an escape plan, so in an emergency you and the children could get away safely.
- Pack an emergency bag for yourself/children and hide it somewhere safe (at a friend or neighbours); try to avoid mutual friends or family.
- Try to keep a small amount of money on you at all times, including change for the phone and for bus fare.
- Keep your mobile phone with you or know where the nearest phone is.
- Be prepared to leave the house in an emergency.
- If you suspect that someone you live with is about to attack you, try to go to a lower risk area of the house – for example where there is a way out and access to a telephone. Avoid the kitchen or garage where there are likely to be knives or other such weapons and avoid rooms where you may be trapped, such as the bathroom, or where you may be shut in a cupboard or other small space.
- You could try swapping the knife drawer in the kitchen to hold tea towels as this may cause confusion and give you precious time to escape if they are looking for a weapon.
- If you are being attacked you could pretend to be about to vomit as people instinctively step away if they think someone is about to be sick.