How exactly does the #metooNZ movement define sexual harassment?

There is no doubt that sexual harassment and assault is overdue for being properly addressed with, and serious perpetrators should be held to account (with proper due process).

But there is also proper concern over  pushing things to far, of making too much of relatively minor indiscretions.

These concerns have been well stated by Rachel Poulain in a question she asks of the #metooNZ movement.

See Alison Mau launches #metoonz investigation into sexual harassment in New Zealand

Broadcaster and journalist Alison Mau is launching a national #metoonz investigation into sexual harassment, supported by Stuff.

Mau says it’s an opportunity for Kiwis — mainly women, but men too — to bring their tormentors to account.

Mau said the #metoonz project — which references the celebrity #metoo social movement popularised by US actress Alyssa Milano — was for people who wanted to have a voice but didn’t know where to go.

“There’s been a window opened, if you like, for women who have something to say and are trying to find a person they can trust to say it to. I don’t want Kiwi women to miss out on that opportunity.”

Leading a team of journalists, Mau will act as the first point of contact, and can be reached on her Facebook and Twitter accounts, via email at alison.mau@stuff.co.nz or on a private phone number – 027 839 4417. Making contact would be completely confidential, and details and stories wouldn’t be shared “until and if” people are ready, she said.

It will run like any journalistic investigation, but with one crucial difference. Mau has set up a “triage” system.

“We will be able to help people that come to us to find legal help, if they need it, to lay a police complaint, if they want to, and to access counselling.

“There’s a level of care, specifically in place for this project. Even if people don’t want to talk on the record… at least we will be able to point them in the right direction to find the help they need.”

Stuff has partnered with Mau on the project.

It’s a widespread problem that needs to be addressed, properly and with care for both victims and due process, and withouit being bogged down with relatively trivial issues.