Inspired by the women and men everywhere, who have been shining a light on harrowing experiences of sexual harassment and abuse, the European film industry has decided to unite under the banner of SPEAK UP, to offer a clear lead in ensuring such behavior is not tolerated in the work environment, whether in offices or at external events, such as markets and festivals.
For too long, abuse has been brushed off and ignored. Victims of abuse are belittled and their concerns dismissed. There has been a tacit threat that complaining about harassment could be detrimental to a career.
But the men and women of this industry have decided that enough is enough. Enough of dismissing inappropriate groping and fondling as drunken behaviour or harmless flirting.
Enough of dismissing harassment and bullying as ‘banter’ and the victims as lacking a sense of humour.
Enough of professional encounters being set up in private rooms. Enough of the ‘too big to fail’ mentality that means those with the greatest power and influence believe they can act any way they choose with impunity. Enough of blaming the victims.
Enough of it all. We say
Sexual harassment is systemic, not just a matter of isolated incidents. It is now a clear duty to call out everyday harassment, sexism and improper power dynamics, so that powerful and long-lasting changes can be made in every workplace.
The European film industry is determined to take positive and practical steps to change the culture of our workplaces and to ensure that every victim of harassment is empowered to make their voice heard.
It requires ensuring that businesses and organisations are clear about what constitutes inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct, and that such behavior will not be tolerated.
It requires promoting a culture that encourages open dialogue about all forms of bullying and harassment and encourages reporting of all inappropriate behaviour.
It requires a listening culture,
which means victims should not have to endure years of pain before sharing their experiences.
It requires new forms of training in legal rights, codes of conduct, bystander intervention and prevention, and proper and comfortable channels of communication with qualified personnel to report allegations of misconduct.
The era of silence and impunity is over.
Now is the time for us to SPEAK UP, so that our industry can ensure its position at the forefront of a dynamic and diverse Europe.
What you should know
Sexual Harassment (offence) harassment in a workplace, or other professional or social situation, involving the making of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, for which submission or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or when such conduct has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Moral Harassment (offence) is defined by various repetitive hostile actions (offensive remarks, intimidation, insults…) affecting a person’s dignity or psychological integrity, and resulting in a harmful working environment. Moral harassment may come from a superior, a colleague, a group of colleagues, a customer, a supplier, etc., but does not always involve a hierarchical relationship between perpetrator(s) and victim(s).
Sexual Assault (offence) unconsented sexual contact that involves force or threat upon a person or is inflicted upon a person who is incapable of giving consent (as because of physical or mental incapacity). Sexual assault takes many forms including attacks such as rape or attempted rape, as well as any unwanted sexual contact or threats of any form.
Rape (crime) Any act of unconsented sexual penetration, of any nature whatsoever, committed against another person by violence, constraint, threat or surprise, or when the victim is unable to give his or her consent (as because of physical or mental incapacity). The attempt of rape is considered on the same legal grounds as rape itself.
Abuse of weakness (offence) Fraudulent abuse of a state of ignorance or weakness of a minor, or someone with vulnerability, due to his/her age, an illness, a handicap, a physical or psychological deficiency, or a pregnancy that is known to the perpetrator. Or a person with psychological or physical subjection, resulting in pressuring repeatedly or not, or with techniques altering his/her judgment in order to drive this minor or this person to act or not that can be seriously prejudicial.
Threat (offence) Menace or declaration of one’s intention to commit a crime or an offence on a person or property, using any means at the perpetrator’s disposal.