Bullying in museums - Museums Association

Bullying in museums

Tackling bullying and harrassment

No sector is free from cases of bullying and this includes museums. Up until now there has been little, if any, research undertaken into bullying within the sector. 

In 2019 we launched ‘Sticks and Stones’, a research project to tackle the issue. We received a huge response from people interested in getting involved or who wished to share their experiences.

Over 500 responses were completed providing invaluable insights into the scale and nature of bullying in the sector, and how to address it. We would like to thank everyone who shared their experiences and observations.

We have since developed a number of resources to further this research and provide baseline information about the nature, scale and impact of bullying.

“We appreciate that reflecting on these situations may have brought your experiences back,” says Tamsin Russell, our professional development officer. 

“We are in the process of analysing the responses and an executive summary be shared to help develop recommendations at a sector, organisational and individual level.”

A research report with these recommendations will be published in 2020.

We have also pulled together the following information and resources that may be useful:

Your own organisation – depending on the size, you may have an occupational health service or an employee assistance programme in place providing access to health care professionals, counselling and other resources.

Your trade union – whichever union you are a member of, they are likely to have guidance and access to specific support, for example lawyers that could help.

Prospect Trade Union – bullying and harrassment

Unison – The Public Service Union – bullying and harrassment

University and College Union – discrimination, bullying and harrassment

Outside your organisation – there are other networks and resources to help:

Bullying UK (Part of Family Lives) – Helpline: 0808 800 2222

National Bullying Helpline – Helpline: 0845 22 55 787

The Samaritans – Helpline: 116123

Gov.uk – UK Government advice on workplace bullying and harrassment

Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service – Helpline: 0300 123 1100

Citizens Advice – if you are being bullied or harrassed at work

Mediation – may be a good first step. Sometimes this can be provided by your trade union, or ACAS or another organisation:

Gov.uk – UK Government advice on mediation, conciliation and arbitration

Scottish Mediation – Helpline: 0131 556 8118