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New guide for sexual harassment information launches in Brussels

16:42 04/04/2019

It’s Not That Grey, a guide to navigating sexual harassment, has launched in Brussels. This guide, created by Sara Hassan and Juliette Sanchez-Lambert, was written to help women deal with sexual harassment, whether it be dealing with their own past or current experiences or becoming an active bystander. 

“This guide gives perspective and validation and also we’ve done the work for you,” Sanchez-Lambert said. “This is literally organised in a way that you don’t have to do that work yourself.”

The publication consists of case studies, red flags to look out for, myths about sexual harassment as well as techniques to either deal with your own or help with someone else’s sexual harassment experience. 

The authors spent a year and a half researching, talking to women about their experiences and organising all the information they gathered into this guide. They hope it eventually falls into the hands of every woman. Hassan said it is meant for everyone: young women, victims, bystanders, even perpetrators. 

Sanchez-Lambert hopes it gets read by young women especially. “I wish someone would have put that in my hands a couple of years ago,” she added. “My dream is that it will end up in any high school library in the world.”

The publication contains something they call the “Red Flag System,” which helps identify signs of harassment in order to be able to act, if necessary. 

“The idea is that no red flag as such is problematic, but it can become problematic when in the context with others,” Hassan explains.

By teaching women to be able to identify red flags on their own from the second they begin, they can prevent further harassment, distance yourself as an affected person or step in as a bystander. The authors believe this knowledge and the techniques they give will empower women to act, rather than feel trapped in a situation. 

“It’s about power and it’s about manipulation and only if we see that as intertwined can we understand how it works and see it early on,” said Hassan. 

The authors of It’s Not That Grey are also founders of Period., a women’s solidarity network based in Brussels. They host workshops, monthly get-togethers, bootcamps and parties that empower their members and women around Brussels. 

Written by Sophia Moll