Over the last few months, we have been working with Rape Crisis South London to improve our processes and the support we offer those who experience sexual harassment or sexual assault within the party. Rape Crisis is an organisation with a wealth of knowledge and experience in dealing with those affected by sexual harassment and sexual assault and offer a range of support, advocacy, counselling and information around these issues. As part of this work and our ongoing relationship, they will be providing the following support to our current procedures:
- A support line for reporting sexual harassment or sexual assault that is completely independent from the party. It will be operated by specially trained members of Rape Crisis staff.
- Ongoing support from a named member of Rape Crisis staff for those who make a complaint throughout the whole complaints process.
- An independent audit of our internal procedures from the point of view of someone who is making a complaint to ensure the procedures are suitable and effective.
The support line is available at the following number:
020 8683 3311
It is operational from Monday to Friday between 10am and 6pm. It is available to anyone who has experienced sexual harassment within the Labour Party to get support and more information about the party’s complaint process. The service is provided and staffed by Rape Crisis and is completely independent from the Labour Party and Party staff. It provides an independent element to the current reporting process and opportunity for anyone that has experienced sexual harassment within the party to talk to someone outside the party.
Who will be answering the support line?
The support line will be answered by members of rape crisis staff who have training and experience in dealing with victims of sexual harassment and assault. They will also have extensive knowledge of the Labour Party’s own internal procedures.
If I call the support line, will details of my call be passed to the Labour Party?
The support line will be completely confidential and details of your complaint will only be passed to the Labour Party with your consent. If the person taking the call has concerns about your safety or the safety of any other person then they may contact the police.
Do rape crisis only deal with complaints of rape or sexual assault?
No. Rape Crisis deal with all types of sexual harassment from inappropriate comments and behaviour to sexual assault and rape.
I’m not sure I want to make a complaint but have experienced sexual harassment, should I call the support line?
Yes. Calling the support line does not mean you are committing to making a formal complaint. The support line is there to offer support and advice to those who have experienced sexual harassment within the party as well as advice about making a formal complaint.
If I decide to make a formal complaint, will my details be passed to the Labour Party?
Yes, with your consent. Formal complaints will be handled and investigated by the Labour Party through the sexual harassment procedure. A named investigating officer will be assigned to your case.
If I make a complaint what support will I receive through the process?
You will be allocated a dedicated member of Rape Crisis staff who will arrange to speak to you at various times throughout the process for support and advice. You will be kept up to date with the progress of the complaint and any subsequent investigation by named members of party staff.
What do I do if I need to speak to someone outside of office hours?
The service is not available outside office hours. If you need extra support outside these hours we suggest you call the Samaritans on 116 123 who provide a 24-hour support line.