PSA statement on sexual violence, sexual harassment and bullying
In light of the recent accusations of sexual impropriety against public figures The PSA wishes to place on record that it regards any form of sexual violence, sexual harassment or bullying as abhorrent and offers its full support to the victims and survivors of abuse of any kind.
The PSA exists to support its members, many of whom regularly work within the Houses of Parliament alongside MPs and party officials. We therefore welcome the news that the Speaker of the House and the leaders of all political parties have publically recognised the seriousness of sexual violence, sexual harassment and bullying in politics and wider society.
We strongly encourage anyone who may have been subject to an abuse of power to access the support networks at their universities or in their trade unions.
Professional organisations such as the Samaritans or Rape Crisis have national and regional support services. The Survivors Trust also has helplines dedicated to specific abuses. Its website also contains an extensive list of local Sexual Assault Referral Centres and Independent Sexual Violence Advisors.
While the current spotlight rests on Westminster, we in academia should not be complacent about the presence of such behaviour in our own sector.
Over the past six months The PSA has been developing a sexual violence, sexual harassment and bullying policy intended to protect our members from situations where such incidents may occur, and to establish reporting strategies if they happen.
The PSA defends the right of everyone to go to work, conduct research and live their lives without the threat of sexual violence, sexual harassment and bullying.
The PSA encourages all its members to work with their institutions and employers to ensure reporting and support structures are robust enough to deal with any form of complaint.
We hope that the current attention on this vital issue will help create a future environment in both politics and academia where sexually aggressive behaviour is no longer tolerated, where survivors feel supported to report their abusers, and where perpetrators are no longer protected from justice by peer and institutional pressures.