Screenshot of the first #MeToo tweet

What incident started the MeToo movement?

The #MeToo movement started off with a simple tweet on Sunday night, October 15th 2017, by activist and actress Alyssa Milano. Lying in bed next to her daughter, she saw a post by a friend online saying, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem”. No one could have predicted the light a single match in the dark would create when Mrs. Milano tweeted it. By the time she awoke Monday morning the tweet had garnered over 30,000 replies and by Monday evening it had surpassed 53,000 comments, including stories from other celebrities, women and men alike. 

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Sexual harassment at work

The month of October 2018  saw an alarming number of allegations of sexual harassment. This includes the demise of Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, Netflix cutting ties with actor Kevin Spacey and the spread of allegations to Westminster.

With a BBC survey finding half of women in the UK and a fifth of men have been sexually harassed at work or at a place of study, it is clear managers must promote a culture whereby staff can bring up any concerns of sexual harassment in the knowledge that they will be heard and dealt with.

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#MeToo campaign
The #MeToo campaign helped raise awareness of the alarming number of people that have been sexually harassed in the workplace

How do you ensure all your staff feel comfortable in their workplace, without being spoken to, touched, or treated inappropriately by their colleagues or managers?

At the end of 2017, the people behind the #MeToo movement were named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year 2017. What started as a drip of revelations and flushing out of open secrets in the media and entertainment industries became a flood at the end of the year, with once powerful men across nations and industries being exposed for the sexual predators, abusers and bullies they are.

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2017 ended with a flurry of allegations against high-profile men, many of whom in the music and entertainment industry, as well as allegations against members of Parliament. The allegations came to light following Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s fall from grace after several women accused him of sexual assault and rape. In late 2017, the #MeToo campaign on social media, together with a BBC survey showing half of the women in the UK have been sexually harassed in the workplace, shed further light on how serious and rampant the issue of sexual harassment at work has become.

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Sexual harassment complaint form

VinciWorks provides a free sexual harassment policy template to help organisations raise awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace and eradicate it for good.

The month of October saw an alarming number of high-profile allegations of sexual harassment. This included the downfall of Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, Netflix cutting ties with Kevin Spacey and a scandal at Westminster. The subsequent #MeToo campaign and a shocking BBC survey highlighted further that the issue of sexual harassment is not limited to the heights of Hollywood and politics. Of the woman who said they had been sexually harassed, only 63% said they kept it to themselves, with 79% of male victims saying they didn’t report it.

Implementing a sexual harassment policy in your workplace is more than just ticking a box. Having such a policy in place, together with the appropriate anti-harassment training, will better equip staff and managers to spot signs of harassment at work and understand how to promote an inclusive and safe working environment for all staff.

You can download the sexual harassment policy template by clicking on the button below. The sexual harassment policy template can easily be edited to suit your organisation and industry.

Download policy template

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