#MeToo Wales: Stories from the Creative Industries

December 6, 2017 by

#MeToo Wales: Stories from the Creative Industries was held on Saturday 25th November 2017 at the Sherman Theatre, Cardiff.

Re-Live received 14 anonymous stories in English. No Welsh language stories were submitted.

5 actors read the stories aloud, followed by a discussion. 42 people were in attendance including representatives from Sherman Theatre, National Theatre of Wales, Equity, WEN (Women’s Equality Network), Arts Scene in Wales and Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.

Patterns and scenarios

Over 60% of stories related to experiences of sexual harassment and abuses of power in colleges and universities.

40% related to sexual harassment and abuses of power in professional engagements in theatre and television.

There were 2 accounts of rape.

The stories shared were not all historical cases.

Fear

A common theme running through the stories was the victim’s fear of reporting an incident of sexual harassment and abuse of power. Students expressed fear of reporting sexual harassment for fear of affecting their marks or failing a course. Professionals in the creative industries expressed fear of reporting an incident as it could affect job opportunities or leave them ostracised.

What do I do? Where do I go?

Victims reported not knowing where to go or who to report an incident of sexual harassment or an abuse of power to. Students and professionals didn’t feel able to report an incident as the perpetrators were in positions of power.

“In my two and a half years as a student, we have not once been made aware of any systems or strategies in place for making complaints of sexual harassment and abuses of power. Therefore, it is very difficult to know who to approach when wanting to express concern over something that has happened either to yourself or to another student.”

One professional actor working in television and theatre said “I have never felt confident to report any incident because who would believe me over them?”

Shame, guilt and depression – was it my fault?

Another common theme was the shame, guilt and in some cases, depression felt by victims of sexual harassment and abuses of power. Victims blamed themselves, with one person saying it is still “terrifying” to think about it. Often the victims had kept their experiences private, not feeling able to tell even their close friends or family.

Recommendations

Students need to be ‘tooled up’. Like a library induction, students should be given an induction into the policies and procedures of their school/college/university to protect them from sexual harassment and abuses of power.

Currently HR departments in universities and drama colleges deal with incidents of sexual harassment or abuse but the need for external reporting structures was raised in the discussion. Who might be responsible for this? What external reporting structures could exist?

One student commented:

“Our student services team is made up mainly of ex-students who have friendly relationships with the senior management team and although I wouldn’t like to think that confidentiality would ever be breached, I would never actually feel comfortable sharing any concerns with them for this reason.”

There needs to be clearer guidelines for students about who to report to, and what should be reported. As sexual harassment is so common place in many people’s lives they can be unsure about what constitutes a misuse of power.

For professionals working in the creative industries in Wales, all permanent and freelance staff should be given an induction into the company/organisation’s code of behaviour and the reporting structures around that.

Victim blaming needs to stop as it puts people off reporting any breaches of conduct. If constantly told to dress “more appropriately” or that things are their “own fault”, young women in particular will not report incidents out of fear that they will be blamed themselves.

We need to be aware and accept that this behaviour is still occurring despite the efforts some institutions, organisations and companies have put in place to stop it.  Even though it may not be happening as blatantly as in the past due to these procedures, it is still occurring subtly and under the radar. No educational establishment or professional company/organisation should be complacent or think they have done enough.

Question

What responsibility do lecturers or industry professionals have in calling out/reporting colleagues they believe are misusing their power?

Conclusion

#MeToo Wales event should be seen as the beginning of this conversation in Wales. It is clear that there are no widespread policies and procedures in place to protect students and professionals in the creative industries in Wales. All organisations, production companies, industry bodies, broadcasters and educational institutions have a duty of care, and the care being currently offered needs to be readdressed in light of the current revelations.

There is no doubt from what we have heard, and the issues of fear around speaking out, that incidences of sexual harassment and abuse are more widespread in Wales than previously realised.

This is a conversation that needs to now continue and be brought into the open, no matter how difficult these issues may be. It is the responsibility of senior management at every company/institution to implement robust safety policies and procedures for their employees, freelancers and students.

Thank you:

Re-Live would like to thank Rachel O’Riordan and everyone at Sherman Theatre for their support. Chelsey Gillard (Re-Live Associate Artist), Sharon Morgan, Claire Cage, Anita Reynolds, Saran Morgan, Karim Bedda, Steve Sullivan and Garry Bartlett for giving their time to make this happen.

#MeToo Wales was in part inspired by the Royal Court Theatre’s No Grey Area day of action:

royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/no-grey-area-your-stories-heard/

The Royal Court Theatre have released an industry Code of Behaviour regarding sexual harassment & abuse of power:

Industry Code of Behaviour

Arts workers have lifted the veil on the secrecy surrounding sexual harassment in the arts, revealing the extent and impact of the issue in hundreds of comments through Arts Professional’s latest survey.

Arts Professional report

Victim Support:

Victim Support is the independent charity for people affected by crime and traumatic events in England and Wales. Their specialist teams provide individual, independent, emotional and practical help to enable people to cope and recover from the effects of crime. They are not part of the police, the courts or any other criminal justice agency. Their services are free and available to everyone, whether or not the crime has been reported and regardless of when it happened.

North Wales: 0300 30 30 159

South Wales: 0300 303 0161

Gwent: 0300 123 21 33

New Pathways: Rape crisis and sexual abuse support service: 01685 379 310

Welsh Women’s Aid: 0808 80 10800

Samaritans Cymru: 116 123 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week)

National Male Survivors Helpline: 0808 800 500

 

#MeToo Cymru:  Storïau gan Ddiwydiannau Creadigol

Yn dilyn tywalltiad o storïau gan bobl sydd wedi cael profiad o aflonyddu rhywiol a chamdriniaethau o bŵer yn y diwydiannau creadigol, mae Re-Live gyda chymorth gan Theatr Sherman, yn bwriadu curadu digwyddiad dwyieithog lle mae storïau ar y testun hwn yn cael eu clywed am y tro cyntaf erioed yng Nghymru.

Bydd y storïau’n cael eu darllen gan actorion, I gynulleidfaoedd yn Theatr Sherman, Caerdydd.  Bydd holl enwau, gwybodaeth sensitif a manylion adnabod yn cael eu tynnu allan, er mwyn sicrhau cyfrinachedd ac er mwyn dileu risg gyfreithiol.

Nôd y digwyddiad yw rhoi cyfle I gynulleidfa gael profiad o wrando ar y  storïau hyn a’u dilyn â thrafodaeth ar sut y gallem gydweithio er mwyn dod a newid yn y diwydiannau creadigol yng Nghymru.

Dyddiad:  Dydd Sadwrn 25 Tachwedd 2017
Amser:  7pm
Lleoliad: Theatr Sherman
Tocynnau:  Mae’r digwyddiad am ddim ond bydd angen tocyn mynediad.  Dim ond dau docyn ar gyfer un person.

Gallwch archebu tocynnau yma

Ceir Rheolau Ymgysylltu ar gyfer y digwyddiad hwn a dylai pawb sydd am fynychu ei ddarllen yma

Gofalu am ein cynulleidfa:
Ni fydd y digwyddiad yn cynnig cefnogaeth strwythuredig ond byddem yn sicrhau y bydd sefydliadau cefnogi yn bresennol ar y noson.

Er mwyn rhannu eich stori’n ddienw gyda Re-Live:

Os ydych yn gweithio gyda’r diwydiant creadigol yng Nghymru ac wedi profi aflonyddu rhywiol neu unrhyw camddefnydd o bŵer tra’n gweithio, fe’ch gwahoddir I rannu eich stori.  ‘Rydym yn croesawu storïau gan unrhywun.

‘Rydym yn ymwybodol efallai mai dyma’r tro cyntaf I chi ystyried rhannu eich stori ac ‘rydym yn gwerthfawrogi’ch dewrder yn arw iawn.

‘Rydym yn eich sicrhau y bydd eich stori’n ddienw ac yn cael ei drin gyda pharch.  Ni fyddem yn gwybod eich enw, eich ebost na’ch cyfeiriad IP.  Ni fydd yn bosibl I ni ymateb I unigolion.

Bydd holl enwau, gwybodaeth sensitif a gwybodaeth a all eich adnabod yn cael eu tynnu allan, gan sicrhau cyfrinachedd a dileu risg gyfreithiol.

Nid pwrpas y digwyddiad yw  codi cywilydd ar unrhyw un, ond cael clywed y storïau gan drafod y cyfleoedd posibl ar gyfer newid yn y dyfodol.

Gall eich stori fod mor fyr neu mor hir ac ydych eisiau iddo fod.  Ni allem warantu y bydd pob stori’n cael ei rannu’n fyw, ond gallem eich sicrhau y bydd pob stori’n cael ei ddarllen a byddent yn dylanwadu ar sut bydd y trafodaethau’n symud ymlaen yng Nghymru.  Wrth gyflwyno’ch stori, ‘rydych yn rhoi’ch caniatad I’ch stori gael ei ddarllen mewn digwyddiad.

Mae Re-Live wedi creu ffurflen ar lein sy’n caniatau chi I rannu’ch stori’n ddienw yn Saesneg neu yn y Gymraeg yma

Hunan-ofal:

‘Rydym yn ymwybodol fod digwyddiad fel hwn gyda’r perygl o gynau emosiynau anodd pobl sydd wedi profi aflonyddu a cham-drin.  Os ydych angen cefnogaeth, cyngor neu angen siarad efo rhywun, mae gennym bobl sydd wedi eu hyfforddi ac yn barod I wrando a’ch cynnal.

Cefnogaeth Dioddefwyr:

Cefnogaeth Dioddefwyr yw’r elusen annibynnol ar gyfer pobl sydd wedi eu heffeithio gan drosedd a digwyddiadau trawmatig yn Lloegr a Chymru.  Mae eu tîm arbenigol yn cynnig cymorth unigol, annibynnol, emosiynol ac ymarferol er mwyn cynorthwyo pobl I ymdopi ac adfer ar ôl effaith y drosedd.

Nid ydynt yn rhan o’r heddlu, y llysoedd nac unrhyw asiant cyfiawnder troseddol arall.  Mae eu gwasanaeth yn ddidâl ac ar gael ar gyfer pawb, p’run ai yw’r drosedd wedi ei hadrodd a waeth bynnag pa bryd y digwyddodd.

Gogledd Cymru: 0300 30 30 159

De Cymru: 0300 303 0161

Gwent: 0300 123 21 33

Llwybrau Newydd: Gwasanaeth cefnogaeth argyfwng trais rhywiol a cham-drin rhywiol: 01685 379 31

Cymorth I Ferched yng Nghymru: 0808 80 10800

Samariaid Cymru: 116 123 (24 y dydd, 7 niwrnod yr wythnos)

Llinell Samariaid Cymraeg: 0808 164 0123 (7pm-11pm, 7 niwrnod yr wythnos)

Llinell Gymorth Goroswyr Gwrywaidd Cenedlaethol:       0808 800 5005

Hoffai Re-Live ddiolch I Rachel O’Riordan a phawb o Theatr Sherman am eu cefnogaeth.  Chelsey Gillard (Artist Cyswllt Re-Live), Sharon Morgan, Claire Cage, Anita Reynolds, Saran Morgan, Karim Bedda, Steve Sullivan a Garry Bartlett am roi eu hamser er mwyn gwireddu hyn.

Yn dilyn ddigwyddiad NoGreyArea, mae Theatr y Royal Court wedi rhyddhau Côd Ymddygiad y diwydiant ar aflonyddu rhywiol a chamddefnyddio pŵer:

https://d19lfjg8hluhfw.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/06174357/A-Code-of-Behaviour-6Nov.pdf

 

 

 

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