How to use SeaCode

Who can share their story on SeaCode?

Any seafarer who works at sea regardless of their gender, as well as all maritime professionals who work in shore based maritime fields such as ports, shipyards and in management can report their harassment, mobbing, bullying or any difficult work situation here.

Will my company find out that I have reported a case? How about the data privacy?

No. Your company will not find out that you have reported a case. We shall use the data to produce analysis on the type and frequency of harassment based on the questions answered in the Share Your Story form. However, your data will remain anonymous and secure within the SeaCode platform. As such, the user is free to share as much or as little information as they want in the knowledge that their information will remain private. We are just here to assist you to get through tough times and give you a voice against harassment. You are given the choice to share your story publically on The Wall - this is optional.

We already have Complaint Procedures on board / in our company as per MLC 2006. Why should I separately use this product?

SeaCode is aware that although there are complaint procedures on board, they are not always used. In fact, SheFarers ran a survey in November 2020 in which 83% of respondents said that they do not think all cases of harassment, violence and mobbing are reported. No case of harassment should go unreported and therefore, SeaCode’s objective is to ensure we capture all harassment cases by putting people first. We encourage everyone to report their cases to create awareness and to end biases, thereby fostering a better maritime workplace.

Physical Harassment

What is harassment?

Harassment is a form of discrimination which violates the dignity of a person andcreates an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.Displaying or circulating offensive or suggestive material; Innuendo, mockery, lewd or sexist/racist/homophobic jokes or remarks; use of offensive language in describing or making fun of someone with a disability etc. are some examples.

What is bullying?

Bullying is a form of harassment that includes hostile or vindictive behaviour, which can cause the recipient to feel threatened or intimidated. It may cause a person to feel threatened or intimidated because of the negative or hostile behaviour of another group of people or individual. Bullying may involve a misuse of power or position and is often persistent and unpredictable. It may be vindictive, cruel or malicious. However, it can also arise when a person is unaware of the effect that their behaviour is having on other persons, or does not have any intention to bully.

What is mobbing?

Mobbing in the workplace is a kind of mass bullying, with collusion or active participation of the management. It is a group campaign of harassment and cruelty, conscious or unconscious, designed to undermine the confidence, the competence or effectiveness of certain employees. Mobbing tactics may include: verbal aggression, stonewalling, exclusion, gossip and slander; and physical aggression behaviors. Mobbing mostly happens due to professional jealousy, maintaining status quo, pushing out difficult or underperforming employees, driving out whistleblowers or for personal reasons.

What is physical abuse?

Physical abuse is when someone hurts or harms a person on purpose. It includes: hitting with hands or objects, slapping and punching, kicking, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning and scalding, biting and scratching.

What is stalking?

Stalking is unwanted and/or repeated surveillance by an individual or group toward another person. Stalking behaviors are interrelated to harassment and intimidation and may include following the victim in person or monitoring them causing fear or anxiety.

Psychological Harassment

What is unconscious bias?

Bias is a prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another usually in a way that’s considered to be unfair. Biases may be held by an individual, group, or institution and can have negative or positive consequences. One’s age, gender, gender identity physical abilities, religion, sexual orientation, weight, and many other characteristics are subject to bias.

What is discrimination?

Discrimination is the act of making unjustified distinctions between human beings based on the groups, classes, or other categories to which they are perceived to belong. People may be discriminated on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, or sexual orientation, as well as other categories. Discrimination happens when individuals orgroups are treated worse than other people are treated, on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in certain groups or social categories.

What is emotional abuse?

Emotional abuse is any type of abuse that involves the continual emotional mistreatment of a person. It's sometimes called psychological abuse. Emotional abuse can involve deliberately trying to scare, humiliate, isolate or ignore a person. Emotional abuse is often a part of other kinds of abuse, which means it can be difficult to spot the signs or tell the difference, though it can also happen on its own. (Blaming, humiliating, criticizing, threatening, ignoring etc.)

What is shouting/verbal abuse?

Shouting or verbal abuse is when a person uses words to gain power and control over their colleagues. It can include shouting and mostly has blaming, manipulating nature.

What is swearing / unprofessional language?

Swearing is to use bad or vulgar language to the colleagues in the workplace. When swearing is part of a verbal or physical attack on another coworker or supervisor, then it can be a valid reason to fire an employee or terminate a contract.

Sexual Harassment

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. It is an unwelcome sexual advance, unwelcome request for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature. It makes a person feel offended, humiliated and/or intimidated and scared.

What are examples of sexual harassment?

If a person does any of the below, that action is sexual harassment: ▪ Being uncomfortably close to you ▪ Blocking you from moving or walking away ▪ Inappropriate touching ▪ Coercing you into sexual activity by threatening to hurt your career, grades, home, or reputation (this is a type of sexual assault) if you do not engage in sexual activity ▪ Physically forcing into sexual activity without your consent (rape and sexual assault) ▪ Displaying or sharing sexual pictures, texts (sexting), computer wallpaper, or emails ▪ Showing you his or her private body parts (called “flashing”) ▪ Masturbating in front of you

Does sexual harassment have to involve sex?

No. Harassment does not have to involve any physical contact at all — words alone may be enough. Conduct that is sexual in nature but does not include any sexual contact is still sexual harassment. Behavior that is “sexual in nature” includes most situations people think of when they think of sexual harassment: sexual advances, repeated requests for dates, lewd remarks, pornographic pictures, or sexual jokes. Of course, harassment can also include physical contact--and conduct that includes unwanted sexual touching, sexual assault or rape is not only illegal sexual harassment but is also a crime.

What if the harassment is not sexual in nature, but is still directed at me because I am a woman?

Non-sexual conduct is still unlawful if it is severe and pervasive and singles you out because of your gender. For example, if your supervisor says he doesn’t think a woman should have your job and deliberately insults or ridicules you or gives you impossible tasks because you are a woman, that is harassment. It is also harassment when your employer insults you because you are not conforming to the employer’s stereotypes about how it is appropriate for women to behave.

Is it possible to be sexually harassed by someone who is the same sex as I am?

Yes. Males can sexually harass males, and females can sexually harass females. The key question the law asks is whether the conduct itself would have occurred if the victim had been of different sex.

What is verbal sexual harassment?

Verbal sexual harassment refers to any of the behaviors of sexual nature, including comments, touching, sending or posting photos and literature or requests (e.g. a supervisor asking an employee for sex or a date) that are said out loud either to a person directly, near them or about them. It includes inappropriate sexual comments said about your appearance to colleagues, sexually suggestive emails sent to your work account and lewd requests for dates or sexual favors.

Cyber/Digital Harassment

What is cyber-mobbing?

Cyber-mobbing is similar to cyberbullying except that it generally involves more than one person or online-aggressor. Cyber-mobbing is defined as a group of people ganging up on someone using tactics of rumor, innuendo, discrediting, isolating, intimidating, and above all, making it look as if the targeted person is responsible (victim blaming). Cyber-mobbing can make the victim feel like everyone is against them and there's nowhere to turn. Particularly because it's difficult to tell who is instigating the attacks - the “ringleader” can be hidden behind the actions of multiple other people, leaving the victim unable to defend themselves from the lead bully.

What is cyber-abuse or cyber-bullying?

Cyberbullying or cyber abuse is a form of bullying or harassment using electronic means. Cyberbullying and cyber harassment are also known as online bullying. Cyberbullying is when someone bullies or harasses others on the internet and in other digital spaces, particularly on social media sites. Harmful bullying behavior can include posting rumors, threats, sexual remarks, a victims' personal information, or pejorative labels (i.e. hate speech). Bullying or harassment can be identified by repeated behavior and an intent to harm. Victims may feel scared, frustrated, angry, or depressed.

What is cyber-stalking?

Cyberstalking is the use of the Internet or other electronic means to stalk or harass an individual, group, or organization. It may include false accusations, defamation, slander and libel. It may also include monitoring, identity theft, threats, vandalism, solicitation for sex, or gathering information that may be used to threaten, embarrass, or harass. Cyberstalking is often accompanied by real-time or offline stalking. Both are motivated by a desire to control, intimidate, or influence a victim. A stalker may be an online stranger or a person whom the target knows. They may be anonymous and solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target.

Other types of harassment

What is financial/economic abuse?

Financial abuse involves a perpetrator using or misusing money which limits and controls their partner’s/colleague’s current and future actions, and their freedom of choice. It can include using credit cards without permission, putting contractual obligations in their name, and gambling with assets. Economic abuse also includes restricting access to essential resources such as food, clothing or transport, and denying the means to improve a person’s economic status (for example, through employment, education or training).

What is hierarchical abuse?

Hierarchical abuse is when people in senior positions take advantage of their power over junior colleagues. It can include mobbing, psychological abuse and also harassment or verbal abuse.

Verbal Harassment

What is shouting/verbal abuse?

Shouting or verbal abuse is when a person uses words to gain power and control over their colleagues. It can include shouting and mostly has blaming, manipulating nature.

What is swearing / unprofessional language?

Swearing is to use bad or vulgar language to the colleagues in the workplace. When swearing is part of a verbal or physical attack on another coworker or supervisor, then it can be a valid reason to fire an employee or terminate a contract.