People don’t report incidents for fear of being excluded

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Many people who have been harassed or bullied at sea choose not to report it for fear of being excluded. This finding was described in a recent graduate thesis from the psychology programme in Gothenburg.
A research report entitled Work environment and safety on Swedish ships from 2015 found that 24% of all seafarers had been harassed or victimised at sea in the last twelve months. Of these, 45% were women and 22% were men. With these figures as a starting point, two students on the psychology programme in Gothenburg studied details of the harassment in their thesis. The results show that these problems occur in all departments on board, but many victims choose not to report incidents. The reason was said to be fear of being excluded from the group, or because previous reports had not made any difference. The study was based on interviews with 13 seafarers: six women and seven men between the ages of 28 and 67. Participants included one chief mate, two masters, one able-bodied seaman, two first engineers, two other engineers, four second mates and a chief engineer.
The graduate thesis, written by Nicole Hodge and Emelie Widerström at the University of Gothenburg, is entitled, “A sailor is always a sailor”. SAN has made a financial contribution to the thesis, which is available on san-nytt.se.
Linda Sundgren

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