Bullying & harassment

Bullying and harassment is distressing for any victim, but here at SeafarerHelp we know the effects of such abuse can be even worse for seafarers whose workplace is also their home. Long periods away from family and friends can make all seafarers vulnerable to feelings of isolation, but incidents of bullying or harassment can make it even more likely. If cases aren’t resolved quickly, there can also be serious consequences for seafarers’ mental and physical health.

All employers should have clear policies in place for dealing with shipboard bullying and harassment, and all seafarers should feel comfortable to report incidents in line with company procedures. Useful guidance on this can be downloaded below.

There are many reasons why seafarers suffering from bullying or harassment on board contact us at SeafarerHelp. We can offer a listening ear to seafarers who simply want to talk about how they’re feeling, in their own language, either before or during a complaints process. Occasionally seafarers contact us because their company has not effectively dealt with their complaint, or because they feel they have been ignored. In these cases SeafarerHelp will find an alternative and confidential way to help.

If you or a family member is experiencing any form of abuse, bullying or harassment at sea, SeafarerHelp is here for you. Contact us at any time.


The Survivors Self Help Guide is for survivors of rape or sexual abuse who want to understand and process their own personal reactions to their experience. The guide is available in English (including an easy-read format), Urdu, Polish, Chinese, Arabic and Somali, along with versions specifically for male survivors and supporters (family/friends of sexual abuse survivors). Download the guide at survivorsnetwork.org.uk/resource/survivors-self-help-guide (Survivors' Network is a UK-based charity supporting survivors of sexual abuse and violence).

Safer Waves is an organisation which supports merchant seafarers who have experienced sexual harassment or sexual assault. You can find out more about the organisation at saferwaves.org.

SeaCode is an anonymous platform for people in the maritime industry to raise awareness about the problems they face at work. These problems can be anything from harassment, bullying, difficult work conditions, homesickness or isolation. You can find more information and share your story anonymously at www.facebook.com/our.seacode.

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