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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 September 11 - 17  > More than 60% of freelancers experience 'power harassment'
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2019 September 11 - 17 [LABOR]

More than 60% of freelancers experience 'power harassment'

September 11, 2019
It came to light on September 10 that 61.6% of actors, writers, and other freelancers who work in non-standard employment relations have experienced work-related "power harassment" and that 36.6% said they have met with sexual harassment.

The Japan Actors Union, the Mass Media Information and Culture (MIC Union), and the Freelance Association Japan jointly conducted a survey of freelance workers.

The three organizations submitted the survey result to the Labor Ministry and demanded that companies' mandatory measures already in place to prevent harassment be applicable to freelancers as well.

The details of harassment include "psychological attacks" such as insults and verbal abuses (59.4%), "excessive demand" such as imposition of impossible assignment (42.4%), and "economic harassment" (39.1%).

Regarding sexual harassment due to a power imbalance, "excessive pry into private life" accounts for 33.7%, "being made fun of physical characteristics" such as looks and age (33.6%), "being asked about sexual experiences or obscene stories" (28.5%), and "being forced to have sex" (17.6%). Additionally, the survey result shows several cases which would constitute crimes: 5.4% said they were "stalked", 4.4% were "raped", 3.2% were "forcibly shown genital parts or acts of masturbation".

A woman who used to be an Internet video creator said that she was raped by a man who was in a senior position in the same business. Sexual assaults continued for months, but she could not report them to police because the perpetrator threatened to destroy her company through his position. At that time, it was only one year after she founded her own company. She recalled that she thought at that time that he had the power over her and there was nothing she could do.
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