What Is Abuse?

Abuse is the improper treatment of a being, it is defined as an incident or repeated incidents of threatening, degrading, controlling, violent behaviour including physical and sexual violence.


Abuse can occur in many forms, such as:


  • Physical Abuse

  • Sexual Abuse

  • Psychological and/or Emotional Abuse

  • Controlling and Coercive Behaviour

  • Harassment and Stalking

  • Online and Digital Abuse

  • Financial Abuse

  • Bullying


Abuse most commonly occurs in relationships with intimate partners, ex-partners and family members.


However, abuse and harassment in the workplace is a serious issue and is particularly prevalent in the Arts.


In most cases, abuse is often perpetrated by someone in a managerial or influential position. They abuse their position of power by threatening, degrading and damaging or threatening to damage the victims career. In most cases, it is that very same reason which prevents a victim from reporting incidents.

I Need Help

In an emergency - call 999. To report non-emergency abuse or harassment - call 101.


Workplace incidents should be reported to your Manager/Supervisor or Head of Department. Depending on the job you do, this may be your Company Manager, Dance Captain, Musical Director or your Employer.


You should also make your agent aware of the situation and keep them updated within incidents as and when they occur.


You may also wish to report incidents to the relevant union - Equity, Musicians’ Union, BECTU, The CDG, The PMA, UK Theatre & SOLT. Incidents can be reported anonymously if you wish to keep you identity hidden. You can report incidents which have affected you personally or incidents that you have been made aware of or have witnessed.


Create a safe workspace. If there has been an incident, avoid being alone with that person. Request that someone else be present when workplace contact can not be avoided. Refer to the Safe Space scheme for guidance and protect yourself from being in a vulnerable position.


If you require further support for Abuse and Harassment, please refer to our GET HELP page. There is a list of recommended charities and organisations to support you further. They can assist with counselling for yourself and family members/friends should it be required. They can also advise you and talk through the process of police investigations and court proceedings and what to expect.