BRITS are being given the chance to share their stories of sexual harassment at work in the “largest ever” survey of its kind.
Minister for Women Victoria Atkins encouraged Brits to take part in the anonymous survey as she revealed she had been a victim of “grubby” behaviour.
Ms Atkins told BBC News she had first hand experience of sexual harassment in the work place.
“I’m not going to be drawn on the details because I’m not going to be defined by the grubby behaviour of the men that behaved that way towards me,” she said.
She did not go into detail but said there had been incidents which had made her feel “uncomfortable” and “upset”.
She shared her own experience as she urged thousands of others to do the same in a fresh crackdown to “stamp out” this “awful habit”.
Ms Atkins said the survey covers “behaviour of a sexual nature which intimidates or causes distress or humiliates the person to whom it is directed.”
“This is not a debate about wolf-whistling… they are serious categories of behaviour,” Ms Atkins said.
She said she had experienced a range of types of sexual harassment and there was an ongoing culture of having to “brush it off”.
“I have seen a range of behaviour, some were the sorts of behaviours that you can not quite brush off, but that you take as part of growing up and adult life.
“There is a longer term piece of work here about changing our culture, we shouldn’t have to be in the position where we’re having to (brush things off).”
The survey will asked 12,000 men and women for their experiences of sexual harassment anonymously and confidentially and be used to develop government policy from first hand experience.
Ms Atkins slammed the Football Association after a female goalkeeper Lucy Gillett had to play while men were yelling sexist abuse at her from the side-lines.
“The FA or the referees should have acting on it, and the FA is facing all sorts of questions at the moment, she and others are entitled to not have to put up with that sort of abuse,” she said.
It came as The Sun revealed, New MPs have been forced to do a “kindness course” to stop bullying and sexual harassment in Parliament.
Ms Atkins’ comments follow the “pestminster” scandal in the heart of Parliament itself, after dozens of MPs revealed tales of sexual harassment in the wake of the #MeToo movement in Hollywood.