Maria Miller, the Conservative MP and former culture secretary, has revealed she has been sexually harassed “numerous times” and believes it happens regularly to women in the workplace.
Miller, who chairs the House of Commons women and equalities committee, spoke out as part of a campaign by 5 News called That’s Harassment, highlighting everyday sexual harassment.
Asked whether she had personally experienced it, Miller said: “Sexual harassment – of course, we all have.
“I probably speak pretty bluntly to people and it’s not something I would tolerate. But, I think, perhaps, if you haven’t got that level of self-confidence, then you won’t deal with it. I think you and I would agree that sexual harassment will happen on a very regular basis to women in the workplace. I mean it would be too numerous to give you an example.
“But, I do think that it’s something that, particularly in very male-dominated industries, women are still experiencing. We should not talk about it in the past tense.”
The MP for Basingstoke said teachers should not dismiss harassment in schools.
“We don’t give guidance to schools to report crimes when they happen because headteachers know that if there’s drugs being used in a school, if somebody has broken in and stolen something, that is a crime. It would be reported to the police,” she said.
“I think headteachers need to take a very long hard look at their own policies to make sure that they are also seeing sexual abuse as a crime and reporting it, because at the moment, I think, it’s being written off as being ... child’s play and it’s simply not that. It’s a crime and it needs to be a reported.”