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  1. In Topic: Harassment Law And Acc

    07 December 2018 - 02:30 PM



    It would be interesting to do a follow up on this survey/ report and establish if education and good manners are maybe contributing factors why these men perceptions are what they are.

    Perhaps they were raised in environments, work and circulate in places where sexual harassment of anyone is frowned upon and honestly doesn't happen as they have been brought up to treat people with respect.

    Not all men treat women and vice versa with disrespect thank gooodness for that.

    Please click on the link for the full article and links


    Sexual harassment

    Men underestimate level of sexual harassment against women – survey

    Campaigners shocked that public awareness is low despite #MeToo movement


    https://www.theguard...st-women-survey



    Pamela Duncan and Alexandra Topping

    Thu 6 Dec 2018 07.00 GMT

    Men greatly underestimate the level of sexual harassment experienced by women, according to a new survey.
    #MeToo founder Tarana Burke: ‘You have to use your privilege to serve other people’
    Read more

    When asked what proportion of women had experienced any form of sexual harassment, both male and female respondents across the US and 12 European countries, including Great Britain, underestimated the levels experienced by women.

    The biggest misconceptions were held by Danish, Dutch and French respondents, who underestimated the actual level of sexual harassment in their countries by 49, 35 and 34 percentage points respectively.

    The question was part of the pollster Ipsos Mori’s Perils of Perception survey, which measures the gap between the public’s understanding of issues and reality.
  2. In Topic: Harassment Law And Acc

    07 December 2018 - 02:20 PM

    Those associated with the wider Legal community need to bring themselves up to speed and familiarise themselves on the word's complex Harassment Law Acts/ Legislation and help those in need.

    Please start using it in the manner it was created especially when it comes to group harassment where complainants may not be able to apply for Restraining Orders by themselves.

    We have laws created for a reason and fear of reporting Sexual and other Harassment on one's own without proper support systems in place places complainants who are already vulnerable in very vulnerable risky situations that should not be arising or happening in the first place.




    Sexual harassment
    Fear stops reporting of sexual harassment at the bar, says top QC

    Young lawyers do not complain in case it damages their careers, says Jo Delahunty


    https://www.theguard...-says-barrister



    Owen Bowcott Legal affairs correspondent
    @owenbowcott

    Sun 2 Dec 2018 13.44 GMT
    Last modified on Sun 2 Dec 2018 19.10 GMT

    Sexual harassment at the bar is not being reported because pupils and young lawyers fear their careers will be damaged if they complain, according to a senior barrister.

    Delivering a public lecture at Gresham College in central London, Prof Jo Delahunty QC suggested there was widespread complacency about the prevalence of inappropriate behaviour in chambers and even by judges in courts.

    Delahunty, who specialises in family cases and appeared at the second Hillsborough inquest, said she had suffered when she arrived in 1986 as a “blue-eyed, blond-haired” pupil. There were wolf-whistles and name-calling.

    On one occasion she went away on a case with a lawyer 30 years older than her. When they checked in at a nearby hotel, she discovered he had reserved a double room.

    She had to calculate immediately, Delahunty recalled, whether her professional prospects would be damaged if she objected. She told the receptionist there had been a mistake and insisted on separate rooms.
    Why can't we stop sexual harassment in the workplace? – Witch Hunt podcast

    Nonetheless the senior lawyer barged into her room early every morning while she was still in nightwear. “I was a young pupil in the presence of men who thought they might ‘have a try’,” she said.

    As she progressed through the ranks of the bar, Delahunty, who is now professor of law at Gresham College, thought it was a problem of the past. “I was wrong,” she said. “It still goes on, much in the same way as I experienced it, and it is now – as it was then – dealt with alone or with the support of friends and family.”

    A freedom of information request to the Bar Standards Board – which regulates the profession – from Behind the Gown, a group of barristers fighting harassment, found that the BSB had only received two complaints of sexual harassment or inappropriate behaviour towards female barristers by male barristers over the past five years.

    Sexual harassment, Delahunty said, was not being reported. “If we don’t speak out about [the perpetrators], they will continue to blight the healthy development of our profession and the young who aspire to join it.”

    I reported harassment and was silenced – and I’m a senior academic
    Athene Donald
    Read more

    She said the problem was acute at the bar because of the proximity of older men with great professional self-confidence, working in sets of rooms with younger, “star-struck” lawyers. Being a barrister was a “deeply seductive” profession, she added, involving persuasion and delivering huge surges of adrenaline.

    Another barrister, Brie Stevens-Hoare QC, Delahunty said, endured similar harassment at the start of her career from a senior barrister who started off with “naughty jokes” but progressed to “will you sleep with me?” and then “when will you sleep with me?” comments. “She said ‘no’ unequivocally,” Delahunty said.

    A female barrister told Delahunty about a prosecutor at Woolwich crown court at the beginning of her career referring to her as the “bird at the back” after the trial.

    In one case another female barrister gave an account of prosecuting a sex offender who did not return to the courtroom after lunch. The judge on his high bench observed: “If he had the same view I had, I can see why it would have been a slightly distracting exercise.” Everyone in court ignored the remark.

    Bullying was also a problem at the bar, Delahunty said. The Bar Council has set up a confidential helpline to support those suffering harassment.

    In an interview with Counsel magazine, another barrister, Elizabeth Prochaska, who helped found the Behind the Gown movement, said: “It is very difficult for individuals to raise their concerns at the bar due to a culture of patronage. Of course, it’s almost impossible to call out individuals who you rely on for work when they behave inappropriately or bully you.”
  3. In Topic: Harassment Law And Acc

    07 December 2018 - 02:08 PM

    A very well worded article on harassment from Malaysia, couldn't agree more re the "believing it has happened" comments.
    Victimising and retruamatising complainants of Sexual Harassment, regardless of where it has taaken place, by those who should know a lot better has unfortunately been a longstanding issue that must be addressed in the world wider arena for the betterment of future generations.


    Culture of silence allows sexual harassment to thrive

    December 7, 2018 Family, Living, People

    By S. INDRAMALAR
    https://www.star2.co...sment-malaysia/

    On his first day of work as an intern at a media organisation, James* was told by his supervisor that he could gain a lot of experience during his five-month stint if he was willing to put in the hours.

    He was also told that the company “wasn’t the perfect workplace” – among the things the supervisor informed him about was that there had been several cases of sexual harassment in the past, which he may hear about during his tenure.

    He was told “not to worry about it”.

    “I was taken aback. It certainly wasn’t what I expected to hear on my first day and certainly wasn’t what I expected from such a respected company. Over time, I realised that the harrasment was an open secret in the organisation – everyone knew about it but no one actually spoke of it,” shares James.

    A work environment that turns a blind eye to harassment allows predatory behaviour to thrive.

    For too long, sexual harassment has been a topic that has been swept under the carpet. But in the past week, since fresh allegations of abuse and sexual assault at popular radio station BFM surfaced, the subject has been discussed openly, with more people sharing their experiences or knowledge of harassment in their workplaces.

    The truth is that sexual harassment happens all too often and it isn’t confined to a single company or industry – it’s endemic and it calls for immediate action.

    A law on sexual harassment has to be passed to make workplaces safe for women, women’s rights activists say.
    Few women speak up about sexual harassment as they risk being blamed and shamed. Photo: 123rf.com

    Few women speak up about sexual harassment as they risk being blamed and shamed. Photo: 123rf.com

    Sexual harassment isn’t limited to women, of course, but a large percentage of victims are women. Police statistics show that in 2017, out of the 267 cases reported, 226 (85%) of the victims were women.

    A sexual harassment law would provide a clear definition of prohibitive conduct and outline the seriousness of the violation. A law could also mandate that all companies have in place proper mechanisms to protect employees and deal with harassment.

    The Human Resource Ministry has a Code of Practice on the Prevention and Eradication of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace but it is not binding.

    “The ministry has proposed amending the Employment Act 1955 to mandate every employer to have a sexual harassment code displayed in a conspicuous area. This is a positive move but we further suggest that the ministry strengthen regulation and oversight over employers. There must be a stronger appeals process for survivors whose employers are not sensitive to harassment,” says Women’s Aid Organisation’s (WAO) advocacy manager, Yu Ren Chung.

    Yu: The Human Resources Ministry must strengthen regulation and oversight over employers.

    Victims stay silent because they fear consequences at work or feel that nothing will happen as a result of speaking up.

    For many, these fears have proven true.

    When public relations executive Melissa* complained to her manager that her superior was constantly inviting her to have work-related discussions after office hours, often over dinner or at his home, her concerns were dismissed.

    “She (the manager) told me that wasn’t harassment and that I shouldn’t be paranoid. His behaviour made me very uncomfortable but that, apparently, was my problem,” shares Melissa.

    After refusing the offers over a few months, Melissa felt the backlash at work. She was sidelined – she wasn’t included in meetings and discussions and was often derided for her work in front of her peers.

    After six months, Melissa left the company.

    Women also keep silent because in many instances, they are questioned and doubted, and often even re-victimised.

    “Questions like why women remain silent or why they want to remain anonymous … that are being asked on social media and the media just deflect from the real issue at hand – the sexual harassment.

    “Such questions shift the blame to the victim and this is one reason women don’t speak out. Instead, they avoid their harasser, they try and forget the incident happened or they ignore it,” says WAO vice president Meera Samanther.

    An article published in July in the Harvard Business Review titled “How co-workers and HR pressure women to stay silent about harassment” reported that all 31 women victims of harassment who were interviewed had shared their experiences of sexual harassment with either a line manager, human resource personnel or colleagues.

    They were all told to “move on” or to “stop raising the issue”. Victims are often told that their experiences don’t amount to harassment. Sexual harassment isn’t confined to a single person – often the workplace culture and policies are complicit in silencing and not supporting victims.

    Victims stay silent also because of a real fear of retaliation, says Meera.

    “The harraser is often a person in power. So women fear for their jobs, they fear they won’t get a promotion, they won’t get a job elsewhere, they will be labelled as troublemakers or that they are seeking attention. All this victim-blaming is tiresome and takes a toll on victims,” she says.

    Meera also points out that often mechanisms to handle these cases protect the company and not the victim.

    “You have to understand that in such cases, the burden of proof is always on the victim. These cases can become very adversarial – the defence will try to portray the victim as being somehow culpable … that she flirted or that she encouraged it.

    “And if women don’t have the support or the strength to go through all this, they often give up,” says Meera.

    Even when they do have the stamina to fight their case, things don’t always end up well for them.

    Take American professor of psychology Christine Blasey Ford, for example, who publicly accused Brett Kavanaugh (now Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States) of attempting to rape her when the pair were teenagers, and whose powerful testimony to the Senate put Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court at risk.

    In a report last month, The Guardian when referencing Blasey Ford who has remained out of the public eye since the case for her own “safety, security and future”, quoted social psychologist Marianne LaFrance saying: “People who challenge the status quo, and certainly those who challenge the gender status quo, will face an aggressive response and, often, ridicule.”

    Strength in numbers

    The first rule in cases of sexual harassment, say experts, is to believe the victim. And support her.

    But this often isn’t the experience of those who find the courage to report.

    When Khatijah* reported that she’d been groped by her co-worker to her Human Resources department, she was asked during her interview, if she was “having problems with her husband” which could have caused her to seek comfort in her colleague.

    “The (male) manager asked me if I’d told my husband of the incident. I said I hadn’t yet. I told him that I was still trying to make sense of what happened and that it was difficult to talk about, and he asked if I was having problems with my husband. And then he said that maybe I encouraged my co-worker in some way.

    “It was sickening. It took me a month to find the courage to even talk to my superior about it and bring the case to HR, only to feel victimised again,” relates Khatijah, who works in a media organisation.

    Workers protest against Google’s handling of sexual misconduct allegations at the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters. Photo: AP

    “We need to come together against harassment. If we don’t say anything when we see or know that our co-workers have been or are being harassed, that means that we are saying that type of behaviour is OK. We need to stand with our colleagues and together, demand that this behaviour is not tolerated. And that companies must do something about harassment,” says Marcela Suazo, United Nations Population Fund country head for Malaysia and Thailand.

    Last month, thousands of Google employees, both men and women, in cities around the world – from New York and Singapore to Hyderabad, Berlin, Zurich, London, Chicago and Seattle – staged walkouts to protest the company’s handling of sexual harassment following a New York Times report that the tech giant paid millions of dollars in exit packages to male executives who were accused of harassment. After the expose, the company revealed that it had fired 48 people for sexual harassment over the past two years. Employees collectively demanded that the company change the way it handled harassment cases: that it, among other things, was transparent on instances of harassment.

    As a result, the company agreed to be more transparent in the handling of cases. They also agreed to end the policy of forcing workers to sign away their right to take a sexual harassment case to court and instead promised to provide live support for victims and a dedicated site for reporting.

    However, their new policies don’t cover third-party workers which make up about 50% of Google’s workforce, which means that the new and improved policies need to be further reviewed and more inclusive.

    * Names have been changed

    Tags
    sexual harassment
    Women
    workplace harassment
  4. In Topic: Harassment Law And Acc

    23 October 2018 - 02:37 PM

    An update from earlier in 2018 from the UK, take note New Zealand Authorities, it's long overdue you all bucked up your processes and ensured all complainants are taken seriously and provided with the personal safety we are all entitled to.

    Please click on the link for all other very important information and Guidelines


    https://www.cps.gov....-and-harassment

    Action on Stalking and Harassment
    23 May 2018|News

    A package of measures to improve the way that the criminal justice system deals with stalking and harassment has been unveiled today.

    The measures - introduced by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) - are a significant shift in the way such cases are dealt with.

    Central to the package of measures is improved direction for police and prosecutors about how to recognise the difference between stalking and harassment and respond effectively.

    A new joint protocol replaces the previous agreement introduced in 2014 by the CPS and the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), since superseded by the NPCC.

    It is one of several steps being taken in response to a recent joint HMICFRS and HMCPSI report on the police and CPS response to stalking and harassment, in which a number of recommendations were made.

    Both the police and CPS acknowledge that more needs to be done to improve how the criminal justice system responds to stalking and harassment cases, particularly around identifying patterns of behaviour rather than looking at incidents in isolation.

    The protocol also gives the clear guidance that Police Information Notices (PINs) are not appropriate to be used in stalking cases.

    A number of other steps are being taken to improve the police and CPS response to stalking and harassment cases. These include:

    Refreshed CPS training on stalking and harassment cases, to be undertaken by all prosecutors over the coming months
    Improving guidance for situations where pleas for harassment are accepted following a stalking charge
    Improving guidance on restraining orders to ensure they are being used appropriately, and that victims are consulted
    Strengthening the Single Point of Contact (SPOC) system, so that police and CPS leads on stalking fully understand the requirements and expectations of the role
    An improved process for monitoring and reviewing how prosecutors deal with stalking and harassment cases
    Updated advice from the College of Policing for police officers on stalking and harassment which is also being developed.

    A new checklist has also been introduced for police to complete as part of a referral to the CPS. It ensures victim safety is considered as a priority and requires officers to confirm that the case they are investigating is not a stalking case first and foremost.

    CPS Lead for Stalking and Harassment, Joanna Coleman, said:

    “Stalking and harassment are often among the most complex offences that police and prosecutors deal with, and frequently involve victims who have faced harrowing experiences at the hands of manipulative offenders.

    “Today’s protocol indicates a significant shift in how police and prosecutors are expected to respond to cases. By assessing the full context of an allegation, including the suspect’s behaviour and the cumulative impact that has had on a complainant, police and prosecutors will need to specifically answer why a case does not meet the description of stalking.

    “Investigating and prosecuting these crimes requires a considered approach that looks beyond one-off incidents towards the pattern of behaviour, and how this has affected the safety and wellbeing of a victim and their family.

    “Along with improved training and guidance, we hope this will lead to stalking cases being identified faster, and handled more effectively. Over the next four months all CPS prosecutors will undertake mandatory training on stalking and harassment, which has been developed following the inspectorates’ report."

    National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Stalking and Harassment, Deputy Chief Constable Paul Mills, said:

    “Stalking and harassment offences can have a harrowing, life changing and long-lasting effect on victims. We are committed to bringing offenders to justice and safeguarding victims at the earliest opportunity.

    “Following the publication of the HMICFRS and HMCPSI report in 2017, we acknowledged that we needed to change the way in which police forces deal with these types of offences. This protocol aims to improve the investigation and prosecution of stalking and harassment cases, while enhancing outcomes and keeping victims safe.

    “In the past, police too often looked at stalking incidents in isolation, meaning that we failed to consider the full picture of alleged offending and the associated risks. This protocol requires police and prosecutors to examine the wider circumstances in each case and identify patterns of stalking behaviour.

    “The protocol will also require police and prosecutors to regularly review the progress of cases, to ensure that all investigative opportunities are being pursued”.

    Chief Executive of Suzy Lamplugh Trust, Rachel Griffin, said:

    “We welcome efforts by the Crown Prosecution Service and police to improve the way that cases of stalking are handled. It is positive that recommendations from the HMICFRS and HMCPSI stalking and harassment report are being taken seriously, and that victim safety is being prioritised within new guidance.

    “Stalking affects over one million people every year, and has a significant physical and psychological impact on victims, causing serious distress, alarm and fear. It is vital that professionals across the Criminal Justice System recognise and respond to concerning patterns of behaviours.

    “We are pleased to see an increased focus on training and recognition of stalking. We hope that this will improve understanding of this insidious crime across the country, and lead to more early identification and responses to stalking. We look forward to working with the CPS to ensure victims are better protected.”

    Stalking and Harassment
    23 May 2018 Updated 23 May 2018 to include link to updated protocol on stalking and harassment |Legal Guidance, Domestic abuse , Cyber / online crime

    https://www.cps.gov....-and-harassment
  5. In Topic: Harassment Law And Acc

    23 October 2018 - 02:04 PM

    The sooner that there is far greater recognition and actual official recording and follow up with rehabilitation of those who go around and harass/ stalk others the better.


    Harassment/ stalking is undertaken by those with insidious behaviour and has often gone on for a long time before one is aware of what has taken place.

    All to often those who take courage to report these psychopaths are left to fend for themselves when they need proper support, including a hug!

    Sadly there's still systemic failures as people, generally men who have careers and greater income are perceived to not have done any wrong doing, including when it's been factually established by the Authorities that those people's behaviours are unacceptable.

    One must not overlook the fact that there's females who are in Domestic Relationships, or have had failed close relationships that also must be on a publicly accessible Register to protect the welfare of other women and men in mainstream society.

    It takes courage to report been stalked/ harassed by someone else's former / current partner without been subjected to undermining behaviours of those who should know better.

    Sadly there's a snowball effect when those in the systems designed to protect us fail in there Duty of Care to comprehend the insidious behaviours of these offenders who also operate in packs/mobs.

    We all have a right to "Personal safety" in society as we go about our lives.




    MPs demand changes to domestic abuse and stalking reforms

    https://www.policepr...alking-reforms/


    The Government’s approach to domestic abuse has been criticised by MPs who are demanding further action to implement more effective scrutiny of domestic abuse reforms.
    Oct 22, 2018
    By Neil Root
    Yvette Cooper MP, chair of the HASC

    The Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) has urged the Government to amend proposals being implemented as part of a new Bill after it heard concerns over how a new Domestic Abuse Commissioner would operate.

    The HASC proposed widening the commissioner’s remit to be responsible for all aspects under the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy.

    In its report published on Monday (October 22), the committee also called for a register for serial stalkers and domestic abusers to be introduced “as a matter of urgency”.

    The coverage of Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA’s) has also come into question, as this key strand of the VAWG strategy is only running at 75 per cent of capacity.

    The committee also urged the Government to make a commitment to put a statutory obligation on local authorities in England and Wales to provide emergency refuge places and to provide more oversight and funding.

    Labour MP Yvette Cooper, chair of the HASC, said: “Domestic abuse is one of the most dangerous and the most common crimes there is.

    “The Government is rightly proposing new legislation and a new strategy, but our inquiry found much stronger action is needed across the board.”

    HASC recommended that the Government review its proposals to create a new Domestic Abuse Commissioner, to strengthen their remit and increase the resources given to them.

    It also said that it is essential the new commissioner is fully independent of Government and should therefore be accountable, and report directly, to Parliament.

    They should also be independently accommodated and resourced, the report added.

    The Commissioner will oversee and monitor the provision of domestic abuse services in England and Wales and have a budget of £1million a year and 15 staff.

    HASC recommended that a balance be struck between empowering the new commissioner enough to make national domestic abuse services more effective and efficient, without encroaching on the remits of scrutiny regimes already in existence, such as police and crime commissioners (PCCs).

    The Office of the Merseyside PCC expressed the need “for clear guidance” to ensure there is no duplication of responsibilities and powers.

    Transform Justice, a charity that commissions and publishes research and lobbies for criminal justice reforms, said: “We believe such a role would duplicate the functions of other organisations and ‘tsars. There is already a Victims’ Commissioner, who represents the interests of victims of domestic abuse.”

    It said: “The risk of creating a new post is that the incumbent is likely either to duplicate, tread on toes or prompt existing stakeholders to absolve themselves of responsibility. Instead the Home Office should review how domestic abuse policy is coordinated and ensure that mechanisms are available for legitimate challenge.”

    However, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria stated that the existing Children’s Commissioner has a wide reach with powers of influence that allow her “to reach across statutory agencies and address pressing issues”, adding that these powers should also be available to the Domestic Abuse Commissioner.

    HASC supported the submission by Refuge, which argued that, due to the “overlapping and interlinked nature of the different forms of violence against women and girls”, the appointment of a VAWG Commissioner rather than a Domestic Abuse Commissioner “would be more effective in driving progress for survivors”.

    Yvette Cooper MP said: “Two women a week are killed by a partner or ex, yet around 90 women & 90 children are turned away from refuges each day. There is an urgent need for statutory refuge provision & ringfenced Government funding so every victim has a safe place to go.”

    The End Violence Against Women Coalition said: “We welcome the creation of a new independent commissioner in this area. But, if the new commissioner’s brief is limited to domestic violence only, they will be out of step with the established national policy framework in this area.”

    HASC proposed the new commissioner review the coverage currently offered by Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVA’s) as there are only 75 per cent in post, although their provision is a core tenet of the VAWG strategy.

    It recommended that the new commissioner should evaluate the capacity of the IDVA network nationally and recommend ways to increase coverage.

    A national register of serial stalkers and domestic violence perpetrators, as recommended by Paladin, a national stalking advocacy service, should be managed through multi-agency public protection arrangements (MAPPA), in the same way registered sex offenders are monitored, HASC said.

    The Government responded to this proposal for a national register by saying that making improvements to how it manages serial domestic abusers and stalkers is high on its agenda, and that it is reviewing in detail the current framework and agrees that there is room for more improvements in information sharing, risk assessment and disclosure.

    The committee noted that specialist domestic abuse services available to BAME victims have decreased and highlighted the culturally specific problems experienced by some BAME victims. HASC believes that specialised ‘by and for’ BAME domestic abuse services are required “to win the confidence of BAME victims of abuse, to understand the issues they face and to have the skills and experience to provide the necessary support”.

    HASC also criticised reforms of the welfare system and the introduction of Universal Credit as the default single household payment could “reduce the autonomy of some women, make them more vulnerable to abuse and more likely to stay with an abuser”.

    The report said payments for all couples in England and Wales should be split, as in Scotland, and “payments made to the main carer by default, after decades in which the importance of independent resource for the main carer has been recognised, appears to be a particularly retrograde and damaging step”.

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