Friday, 11 April 2014

Channel 4 News: Rubbish Survey

Channel 4 News has been investigating sexual harassment in Parliament. We spoke to 70 people hailing from all political parties and sexual orientations, and found that this is something that's really part of the fabric.

Researchers from Firecrest Films discovered that a third had personally experienced sexual harassment which they saw as an abuse of power. A further 21 per cent told us they had witnessed someone else being sexually harassed, or that a friend had confided in them. And less than a half (46 per cent), said they had no first or second-hand knowledge of such behaviour.

The people we spoke to didn't want to talk on camera, because they were too fearful of blighting a nascent political career. But here's what they told us. "At an event for young political activists I was asked to go to the gents by a certain MP who had always been a nice guy. I just brushed it off.

"The MP suggested I go to the toilets with him at about 1am, but then at 3am I saw him going back to his hotel room with a guy who looked about 18," one said.

"He invited the office to a gay bar, and came up to me and put his arm around my shoulder. Then one time he slid his hand right down my back, and I moved it away," said another.

Our investigation revealed that young men are more likely to get harassed than women. Some 40 per cent of men we spoke to had received unwanted sexual advances. One woman watched it happening.

"I watched men coming on to men, and men hiring men that they wanted to sleep with. I saw male MPs and researchers having relationships.

"When I was there, older men would explore their sexuality and be predatory to younger men."

Channel 4 News.

Much quoted, though they only spoke to 70 people - that number again SEVENTY! - presumably a self-selected group who answered an email about sexual harrasment at Westminster, none of whom would talk on camera, so it's about as scientific as the magical powers of kryptonite.

(Have sent various messages to Channel 4 asking how they found the respondents, no reply thus far).

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