This organisation 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.
Now a registered charity, we aim to create that safe space, provide information and signpost to other suitable welfare charities globally and locally. We are working with seafarers, employers and organisations to build a network of support.
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, a survey was conducted to obtain information on the prevalence of these offences and to inform decisions for the future directions 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, over the next few months we are focussing our efforts on building an anonymous email service, which will provide emotional support and information to seafarers.