In light of recent events with FS and Jackson Sousa, we have written a statement on where we stand.
Men and women must be allies. We need a no tolerance attitude towards any form of sexual assault, this includes: making someone feel unsafe, sending unwanted messages and the obvious – touching inappropriately.
Staying silent makes you complicit. We must be active allies. You cannot sit on the fence with the idea that this doesn’t apply to you and so it’s none of your business. We all have women and girls in our lives who we love and we need to create a safe space for them.
We need safeguarding procedures – there must be clear protocols for sexual assault and harassment accusations. I.e. you must listen to the victim, temporarily asking the accused to leave until the situation has been investigated and if proven accurate a permanent ban from the club. We cannot have these types of people teaching children.
FYI: The Sexual Offences Act 2003 tells us that sexual assault happens when: person A touches person B; AND the touching is sexual; AND person B does not give their consent to the touching. Whilst sexual harassment is “any unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature that makes you feel distressed, intimidated or humiliated. It can take lots of different forms. It can include or be called sexualised bullying.”
We need to educate ourselves as to what these are and we have an article on https://womenwhofight.co.uk/articles/discussion/sexual-assault-and-harassment-at-work-and-play/ that you can check out.
The most constructive thing we can do is give space to victims and listen. This will help to make the necessary changes to protect each other from being targeted for assault/harassment.
We call instructors/gyms to publicly condemn sexual assault and harassment in their gyms/affiliations. Well done to companies and organisations who have made it public that they don’t want to be associated with sexual predators and stand with the victims. That’s a community.
Shanti & Marina