Tackling abuse in the CBI, Westminster and beyond
Yesterday it was revealed that over a dozen women have come forward with allegations of sexual harassment, or assault from within the Corporation of British Industry. All this just weeks after their director general stepped down amid claims of sexual harassment.
These revelations are shocking, and the organisation's failures in dealing with them even more so. Sadly this culture of abuse and impunity is not limited to the CBI. We see the same story time and again, from the media to the emergency services to Parliament itself. Abuse and sexual harassment thrive, not just because of the inequalities in our society, but because of the impunity and apathy of those in power.
What does it say about the priorities of those who hold power in society when Parliament, our emergency services and major business groups have such extensive problems with sexual harassment, abuse and institutional misogyny?
Nothing about institutional misogyny and abuse is inevitable. It is created and perpetuated by the choices of those in power. It is so vital that it is called out and challenged wherever it is found.
We stand with every survivor who has brought these allegations to light, but they should never have had to fight in this way. From the CBI, to Parliament, to policing and the fire service. It should never take women, reliving their trauma in the public eye in order to bring about real change.
It’s easy to read stories like this and feel hopeless. But campaigners are making progress in the fight against this abuse. At the last general election every single MP accused of harassment and abuse that we challenged stood down or lost their seat. Policing and other emergency services and now organisations like the CBI are increasingly finding there is nowhere to hide from these allegations. The fight is far from over but together we can turn the tide against predatory and abusive men, and those who seek to protect them.