AGM Item 57: First Responder Sexual Assault

Our Ref: HSR/2/2
8th October 2019
Head Office Circular NP/193/19

Dear Colleague


The following resolution was carried at the AGM 2019:

This Branch believes that rail staff are woefully and inadequately prepared to deal with persons complaints, who may have been subjected to a sexual assault, while travelling on the Rail Network. This is especially a concern for on board staff who may be the only person available for a victim to place their trust in, if travelling aboard a train service and especially in remote areas.

This branch believes that our Union should seek to engage with train operating companies, the BTP and other relevant industry stakeholders to see what training if any is available, or if none is available challenge these organisations to develop training that will better enable our members to deal with what must be very trying and difficult situations to manage.

Training should take into account areas of concern such as:

• Ensuring the victim’s safety, understanding any risk posed by the perpetrator to the victim or other people.
• Identify any immediate medical needs.
• Reassure the victim that they have done the right thing in coming forward and reporting.
• Be non-judgemental.
• Show empathy and sensitivity.
• Maintain impartiality.
• Speak to the victim in an environment in which they are comfortable.

This list is obviously not exhaustive and professional agencies should be engaged about which direction any training should take.

At a time when sexual assaults are on the rise upon the Rail network, we feel this initiative would be a positive and proactive forward step for the whole Industry to be involved in and would more importantly greatly benefit anyone who may sadly suffer from such abuse.

At their meeting of 26th September 2019, the National Executive Committee noted and adopted the following report of their Health and Safety Sub-committee:

We instruct the General Secretary to take up this matter in line with the resolution.

Branches and Regional Councils to be informed.

I am acting in accordance with these instructions. Please make the contents of this Circular available to all appropriate members.

Yours sincerely

Mick Cash
General Secretary