In mid February 2018, there was widespread media reporting of allegations of sexual harassment and assault at large national law firm Russell McVeagh. At the time, many people seemed to be under the impression that this was an isolated incident at one firm but based on my experience, and the experiences of my female colleagues, I knew that this was a much more widespread issue. I decided to provide a forum for people to share their experiences and to demonstrate to the NZ Law Society that this was a widespread issue that needed to be taken seriously.
The blog was live for six weeks from late February 2018 - March 2018 and 220 posts were made. During this time the blog received widespread media coverage and was viewed over 25,000 times. It ultimately led to the NZ Law Society undertaking the first ever survey of sexual harassment in the legal profession which showed that one in three female lawyers have been sexually harassed during their career. The results of this survey then led the NZ Law Society to undertake an independent review of its complaints process which concluded that this was not for for purpose.
All information was provided for publication on the understanding that any identifying information would be redacted to prevent the identification of any individuals involved. If you wish to quote any material from the blog in an article, thesis, artwork, or other publicly available material, please contact me first to discuss. While the information in the blog is anonymous, it is sensitive and should only be reproduced in an ethical manner out of respect for those people who provided the information. The information is their personal stories which they provided for educational purposes only.
To download the archived blog please click here.
Reporting information and support services
If you have experienced sexual assault or harassment in your workplace, below is information on the various reporting processes and support services that are available.
New Zealand Police advice for victims of rape or sexual assault is available here
Information on how to make an ACC claim for rape or sexual assault and find an ACC funded counsellor in your region is available here
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION
The Human Rights Commission offers a free, confidential service for anyone who wants to report discrimination, sexual harassment or racial harassment. This guide explains how the Human Rights Commission deals with sexual harassment complaints. You can contact the service by phone: 0800 496 7877 or email: email@example.com
NEW ZEALAND LAW SOCIETY
The New Zealand Law Society has launched a 0800 phone line where people in the legal community are able to discuss sensitive matters such as workplace harassment and the options and support they can access. The Law Care phone number is 0800 080 028 and callers are also able to email their concerns to and request a call back.
To search the New Zealand Law Society register of lawyers click here
For more information about community law centres in your region click here
The Law Faculty at Victoria University of Wellington has produced the following guide Clerkships, internships and employment while studying: What to do if you experience harassment which contains the contact details of a range of people who can help.
NON-GOVERNMENT SUPPORT AGENCIES
A list of non-government agencies which can provide support is available here
Stuff journalist Alison Mau is running a nationwide #metoo investigation if you're considering sharing your experience via the media. You can email her in confidence at: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact her on her private phone number for this investigation: 027 839 4417. Stuff also has SecureDrop, a platform which enables sources to anonymously communicate with any Stuff journalist and submit confidential documents, video or images.
If you'd like to ask me any questions you can email me at email@example.com