November 8, 2023

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“Widespread and underreported” – study shows extent of harassment in sport

A new survey has found that harassment of those participating in sport and exercise is “widespread and underreported”.

The study, commissioned by Suzy Lamplugh Trust, canvassed 2,000 people (the majority women) and revealed one in ten had experienced harassment while partaking in some form of exercise; one in five reported harassment while taking part in an online exercise class; and 12% of those reporting harassment said they have stopped being active all together as a result.

CREDIT: Victor Freitas/Unsplash

The findings, revealed yesterday (7 November) at the National Personal Safety Day conference by Suky Bhaker, CEO at Suzy Lamplugh Trust, also showed worrying trends around reporting, with 78% of respondents who had experienced harassment choosing not to report the incident. In addition, 60% said they would not intervene if they witnessed such behaviour.

Off the back of the statistics, Bhaker urged employers to “embed a workplace personal safety culture”, and more widely, she said the Trust hopes to lobby parliament with a number of policy recommendations including the use of visible policies and a code of conduct implementation.

She did celebrate the implementation of recent legislation, most notably the Worker Protection (Amendment of Equality Act 2010) 2023. Passed in October, the Act places emphasis on employers as a duty to prevent harassment in the workplace, however, Caroline Nokes MP, a key figure in implementing the legislation, shared a reality check during her keynote: “I’m not going to pretend there’s been progress,” suggesting that any headway made is only in awareness rather than action and change, and she lamented that we “still avoid, mitigate and manage” risks around harassment rather than taking direct action.

More information about the study can be found here.

A guide for managers: Supporting employee wellbeing

This guide, written by Heather Beach, Founder of The Healthy Work Company, serves as a go-to resource to help managers support team members who may be experiencing stress or struggling with their mental health, including warning signs, duty of care and top tips.

Wellbeing Conversations for Managers

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