BAJR Respect

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BAJR Respect


Hawkins, Kayt and Rees, Cat

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Acknowledging issues, providing a platform.

The recognition with which many of us watched the emergence of the #metoo movement is testament to the lived experiences of women. There was no surprise when reading the accounts, instead there was a renewed anger.. Archaeology was in no way exempt from self-reflection and women working in all areas of heritage shared accounts of their horrendous experiences within their professions and highlighting the failure of their profession to tackle the issue head-on.

Launching the campaign

It was against this backdrop that the BAJR RESPECT campaign was launched dealing with sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination, originating 5 years earlier as a direct response to specific incidents of sexual abuse and rape of women working in the field and no way to offer anything other than support.

The guide stresses that archaeology is a no more dangerous or predatory profession than others, but there are certain elements within how archaeological fieldwork is structured which can place individuals at increased risk of sexual harassment and bullying. Field schools and even excavations conducted away from the company base can form into their own small microcosms, and usual boundaries of behaviour may become blurred. In these situations, inappropriate behaviour risks becoming normalised and excused as group banter.

No advice on how to protect from attack is given in this document as it is not the responsibility of the victim but rather the perpetrator not to carry out the harassment, assault or attack in the first place! The BAJR RESPECT guide is intended to be practical rather than aspirational – offering real solutions to organisations to minimise the risks to students, staff and volunteers.


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