About Us

Safer Waves was set up in 2019 to provide support to merchant seafarers who have experienced sexual assault, sexual harassment or gender discrimination on board.

These experiences can be hard to talk about, even within the supportive environment provided by existing seafarer welfare and support organisations.  While we have made progress in discussing bullying and harassment within the Merchant Navy, it remains difficult to find a safe space to talk about assault and rape.

At Safer Waves we aim to create that safe space by providing information and emotional support to seafarers. When appropriate we signpost to other suitable welfare charities globally and locally.  We are working with seafarers, employers and organisations to build a network of support.


  • Compassion – We will listen to seafarers with empathy and without judgement, and will do what we can to relieve their suffering.
  • Equality – All our those who use our service shall be treated with the same level of care and respect, regardless of gender, nationality, religion, professional background or any other characteristic.
  • Courage – We will not be afraid to speak up on behalf of seafarers, nor shy away from challenges or difficult conversations. 

Safer Waves is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, registered with the Charity Commission for England and Wales. This means we are a non-profit organisation. We are also an independent organisation, completely dedicated to responding to sexual violence and gender discrimination on board ships.

There is a lack of data on sexual violence and harassment at sea, and although there are support organisations for seafarers, they do not specialise in this area. Therefore in 2020, a survey was conducted to inform decisions for the future of Safer Waves and the best way to achieve our objects. A summary of the survey findings can be found here.

Based on the outcome of the survey, we have set up a confidential email support service for seafarers who have experienced sexual violence or gender discrimination.

More details about our email service can be found here: Contact Us.

The Survivors Trust Logo

Safer Waves is a member of The Survivors Trust. The Survivors Trust is the largest umbrella agency for specialist rape and sexual abuse services in the UK.

Ship in Norwegian Fjords

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