August 06, 2019
Emma Watson is staying busy. The 29-year-old "Harry Potter" star announced Monday that she's helping launch a free legal advice line for those experiencing sexual harassment at work in England and Wales.
Emma Watson helps launch a legal advice line for women who are sexually harassed at work
"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," Watson said in a statement, according to the Guardian. "This advice line is such a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work."
The line is backed by Time's Up UK's Justice and Equality Fund and will be managed by Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls. The advice itself will be provided by the charity Rights of Women, which provides legal advice and assistance to women.
Parliament passed the Equality Act, which defines and outlaws sexual harassment, in 2010.
But that doesn't mean it stopped happening. A 2017 BBC survey of over 2,000 people found that half of British women and a fifth of men have been sexually harassed at a place of work or study.
"It finally feels like people are realizing the scale of the problem," Watson said.
The helpline won't necessarily eradicate workplace sexual harassment, but it will keep people informed about their rights, so those affected can hold their employers accountable.
Deeba Syed, a senior legal officer at Rights of Women, said the purpose of the line is to empower women to utilize their legal rights.
"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," she said in a statement.
The helpline can be reached at 020 7490 0152.
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