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Safer Waves seeks seafarer feedback on sexual assault and harassment

A new organisation has launched a confidential survey to collect the experiences of seafarers who have been subject to sexual assault or harassment, enabling them to share their stories.

Founded in 2019, Safer Waves is the brainchild of a serving seafarer who created a website as a safe space for contact, information and sources of help.

The purpose of the survey is to gather information that will help Safer Waves understand the needs of seafarers and how best to develop support services, in co-ordination with mariners, employers and welfare organisations.

All merchant seafarers whether serving, ashore or retired are invited to take part in the survey, whether or not they have personally suffered from sexual harassment, gender discrimination or sexual assault.

“While we have made progress in discussing bullying and harassment within the merchant navy, it remains difficult to find a safe space to talk about assault and rape. We hope this survey will enable us to scope the problem and build a network of support,” said a spokesperson.

The data collected will be used to build a picture of the resources currently available to seafarers, what is lacking and how current provision can be improved. The raw data will only be available to the founder and trustees. Statistics drawn from the data will be made publicly available, with the utmost importance being placed on the anonymity and well-being of respondents.

The survey is completely anonymous and seafarers leaving comments should not include details such as names of people, companies or ships.

To take the survey click here.

Seafarers in need of immediate advice on sexual harassment or assault can click here

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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