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Freedom From Fear

Freedom From Fear
Freedom From Fear

Share your experiences

Take our quick survey to tell us about your experiences of abuse, threats and violence at work.

About Freedom From Fear

Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Campaign works to prevent violence, threats and abuse against workers. We do this by engaging the public, shopworkers and the Government.

Results of Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear Survey 2023 show that violence against shopworkers has doubled since last year, with 18% saying they’d been assaulted. Of those surveyed, 70% experienced verbal abuse and 46% were threatened by a customer. They also show that amongst non-white workers, racial harassment is at 54%, and 41% of all women suffered sexism.

The full results of our 2023 survey are available here Survey Results.

Our campaign has made huge strides over the last three years. In August 2021, as a result of our campaigning a new ground-breaking law to protect shopworkers from violence, threats and abuse was introduced in Scotland. Legal protections have also been delivered for retail workers in England and Wales.

However, retail workers continue to be impacted by abuse, threats and violence and therefore the campaign must continue. The Union is engaging with employers, politicians, the police and the justice system to ensure shopworkers have the protection they deserve.

How this helps you

We raise awareness with the public that violence, threats and abuse against workers is unacceptable behaviour. We give workers the confidence to speak out and report abuse, not accept it as part of the job.

We also work with employers to achieve safety and security improvements in stores, and raise the issues of neighbourhood policing, retail crime and underage sales. We lobby the Government to enact a new law, creating a specific offence relating to assault on people who work in a face-to-face public role. We have come close to achieving this in the past but have been blocked by the Conservatives.

Respect for Shopworkers Week is an important part of the Freedom From Fear campaign - this year's campaign will take place from 11 to 17 November 2024. The purpose of the week is to support retail workers and ensure the general public understands the key message that abuse is not part of the job.

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The official website of the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers