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Emma Watson launches a free sexual harassment helpline

Since 2014 Emma Watson has been a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. The platform has given her the opportunity to empower women in every way possible, including attending G7 summits on equality and using her position to get behind Time’s Up, a movement against sexual harassment.

Now, the actor has assisted in launching a legal advice line for people experiencing sexual harassment at work in the UK.

Watson has helped fund the service, backed up by Time’s Up UK, Rosa and Rights of Women, which has recruited volunteer female employment lawyers to provide legal advice.

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,” said the Harry Potter star.

“This advice line is such a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work,” added Watson.

According to recent research conducted by the Trades Union Congress (TUC), one in two women have experienced sexual harassment at work.

Emphasizing on the gravity on the statistic,Watson said in a statement,“It finally feels like people are realizing the scale of the problem.”

“I’m certainly hopeful that with global standards such as the recent International Labour Organization (ILO) treaty on harassment at work, we’ll start to see a new climate of prevention and accountability on this issue domestically.”

Rights of Women’s senior legal officer, Deeba Syed, said workplace sexual harassment was a hidden problem even though it had reached “epidemic levels”.

She said: “This advice line’s purpose is to empower women to exercise their legal rights in the workplace. By advising women about their legal options and increasing their understanding of equalities and discrimination law, we will be able to help them make informed choices about next steps, including how to navigate the legal system with confidence.

“We know that complaints of sexual harassment at work are still frequently responded to in a gendered manner that is negative, undermining or can lead to victimisation. That is why Rights of Women will also work towards dismantling the underlying structural problems that puts the burden on victims and makes it difficult for women to come forward through its policy work.”

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