Emma Watson has helped launched a legal advice line for women who are sexually harassed at work.
The helpline, which is available free of cost for women living in England and Wales, can be reached at 020 7490 0152.
The hotline is funded by the Time’s Up U.K. Justice and Equality Fund, managed by Rosa, the UK Fund for Women and Girls, and kickstarted by donations from Watson and other donors. The legal advice is provided by the legal staff of the organization Rights of Women as well as other volunteer women employment lawyers.
‘This advice line is such a huge development in ensuring that all women are supported, wherever we work’ Thanks to @EmmaWatson for supporting the launch of our new Sexual Harassment at Work legal advice line @TIMESUPUK @RosaForWomen https://t.co/H8lUt2NmOV
— Rights of Women (@rightsofwomen) August 5, 2019
Though Watson is delighted that the funds raised by the public through the Justice and Equality Fund is powering the helpline, the Harry Potter actress said in a statement that “it’s completely staggering to think that this is the only service of its type,” especially that “research has found that as many as one in two women experience sexual harassment in the workplace.”
While the helpline won’t necessarily eliminate workplace sexual harassment, everyone behind it believes that it will keep people informed about their rights, so those affected can hold their employers and their harassers accountable.
“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,” Watson said.
Deeba Syed, a senior legal officer at Rights of Women, pointed out that the 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,” said Syed.
This isn’t the first time Watson has backed a Time’s Up initiative. The Beauty and the Beast actress donated £1 million (approximately $1.2 million) to the Justice and Equality Fund last February 2018. She even showed off a temporary “Times Up” tattoo on her forearm at the 2018 Vanity Fair Oscars after-party to show her support for the movement.