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October 15, 2018
Entertainment

#MeToo: UK fund gives £1m given to sexual harassment victims


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More than £1m has been given to UK organisations which help women who have suffered sexual harassment and abuse.

The money was donated to the Justice and Equality Fund in response to the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements which urged women to speak up about abuse.

Harry Potter star Emma Watson said the grants were “pivotal in supporting the dynamic work of vital UK women’s organisations”.

The actress, who donated £1m to the fund, said it was “just the beginning”.

The #MeToo movement began with a tweet by actress Alyssa Milano in October 2017 after dozens of women came forward to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, abuse or rape.

The Hollywood-based Time’s Up project – and its British arm, Time’s Up UK – followed, with more than 300 actresses, writers and directors raising money to support women who have been victims of sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.

On Thursday – almost exactly a year after the first #MeToo tweet – the Justice and Equality Fund, which is supported by celebrities such as Watson, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson and Jodie Whittaker, awarded £1,027,699 to seven women’s organisations in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Organisations receiving grants include:

  • Nearly £200,000 to Rights Of Women, for a free, confidential helpline led by female lawyers offering specialist legal advice
  • More than £88,000 to Welsh Women’s Aid to provide training in women’s support services across Wales
  • More than £130,000 to London Black Women’s Project, providing specialist advice to black and minority ethnic and migrant women

The Women’s Aid Federation in Northern Ireland will receive £200,000 to re-establish a pilot rape crisis service there after a 12-year gap.

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Reuters

Image caption

Knightley was among British and Irish stars to sign an open letter calling for an end to sexual harassment at work

“To be able to fund the first rape crisis service provision in Northern Ireland for 12 years feels like a huge step forward,” said actress Knightley.

“I hope we can continue to raise funds to support more of the front-line organisations doing such critical work with women and girls across the UK.”

Samantha Rennie, executive director of the charity Rosa, which manages the Justice and Equality Fund, said the grants would ensure “no-one is left unsupported when they have been harassed”.

“We’re delighted that so many individuals and Time’s Up have reached out in solidarity to make this happen.

“But we need to do more – to get these services on a stable footing – and tackle the culture that means abusers can act with impunity.”



Source BBC News

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