Actress and activist Emma Watson has helped to launch a hotline operating in England and Wales, which will offer free legal advice to women who have questions about workplace sexual harassment. Considering, as The Guardian points out, that a Trades Union Congress study found that one in two women experienced this type of harassment, this type of service is definitely needed.
The Guardian's article on the news points out that there is no other similar resource available in the regions that this hotline will be servicing. In a statement, Watson also noted the importance of the hotline, saying, "Understanding what your rights are, how you can assert them and the choices you have if you've experienced harassment is such a vital part of creating safe workplaces for everyone, and this advice line is such a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work."
The hotline is backed by Time's Up UK's justice and equality fund, and donations from members of the public—including Watson herself—helped the hotline get started. It's managed by Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls, and Rights of Women is the charity doling out the advice.
Watson hopes that this will inspire more services of this kind. "It finally feels like people are realizing the scale of the problem," she said, "and I'm certainly hopeful that with global standards such as the recent International Labour Organization treaty on harassment at work we'll start to see a new climate of prevention and accountability on this issue domestically."
If you live in England or Wales and have legal questions about workplace sexual harassment, the hotline's number is 020 7490 0152.