Survey Concerning Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in Fieldwork Situations

*This survey has been closed. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who supported or participated in this survey.

In recent years, educational and research institutions and academic societies across the country have taken measures to prevent various types of harassment, including sexual harassment. However, harassment in fieldwork remains untouched because such incidents occur in fieldsite, physically distant from fieldworkers’ affiliated institutions. As a wide range of academic disciplines adopt fieldwork in their research, various forms of fieldwork emerge, which creates varying conditions under which harassment occurs, making it difficult to identify harassment cases faced by fieldworkers.

To address these issues and to take actions, a joint research team “Harassment in Fieldwork” (HiF), is now recruiting participants for the “Survey Concerning Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment in Fieldwork Situations”.

This survey is open to all fieldworkers regardless of gender, since sexual violence and harassment can be directed against anyone.

Even if you haven’t experienced sexual violence and harassment, we appreciate your kind participation in this survey. Your input is valuable for us to better identify any prior learning opportunities about sexual violence and harassment in fieldsites and to gather your candid opinions on this important issue.

Before participating in the survey, please read the following preface of the survey carefully.

The closing date for the survey responses: February 28, 2022

Purposes of This Survey

“Survey Concerning Sexual Violence and Harassment in Fieldwork Situations” aims at revealing what kinds of sexual violence fieldworkers have experienced and what prevention strategies and subsequent measures they have taken.

By collecting examples of concrete and real-life episodes of sexual violence and harassment together with related information and opinions from fieldworkers, we plan to bolster countermeasures as well as raise awareness and understanding with regard to this critical issue. Anonymized results of the survey will ultimately be published on this website, utilized during our seminars, and included in our future publications such as research papers and books.

What do we mean by fieldwork in this survey?

Although we acknowledge there are various approaches and methods of doing fieldwork among different academic disciplines, this survey defines fieldwork as a way of doing research or a form of research training where individuals collect research data and materials first hand outside of the laboratory/office at one’s affiliated institution.

What do we mean by Sexual Violence in this survey?

In this survey, sexual violence is defined along the lines of the World Health Organization’s definition: “any sexual act, attempt to obtain a sexual act, unwanted sexual comments or advances, or acts to traffic, or otherwise directed against a person’s sexuality using coercion, by any person regardless of their relationship to the victim, in any setting including but not limited to home and work” (WHO 2002: p. 149).

Thus, we ask you to report all unwanted acts that hold sexual connotations. In concrete terms, such acts include sexual harassment, sexual assault and criminal acts (e.g., rape and forcible touching), invasion of personal space, unwanted physical contact, stalking behaviours, sexual remarks (e.g., sexually-tinged jokes), visual aggression such as exhibitionist behaviours and unwelcome exposure to information of a sexual nature (including both images and texts).

Please make sure to cover all types of sexual violence inflicted not only by those living locally in the fieldsite, but also those accompanying you (e.g., your colleagues and supervisors/advisors) and individuals whom you have encountered in the field (e.g., other researchers from other countries, embassy staff, and expats from your own country).

Because fieldwork involves contact with different cultural and social norms, you may be unsure as to whether your unpleasant feelings can be defined as sexual violence. Please do not hesitate to share such feelings/experiences/episodes with us. We believe that they provide important insights into the issue of harassment in fieldwork.

Guarantees of Confidentiality

The information you provide in this survey will be managed in accordance with the following principle.

  1. The data collected through this survey will only be used for the aforementioned purpose.
  2. We will not provide any information obtained through this survey to any third parties.
  3. To prevent any loss or disclosure of any data, we will undertake the following measures:
    1. The original data will be password-protected and securely stored on Microsoft server under a university’s tenant, which requires two-factor authentication.
    2. The original data will be accessed only by one password-locked computer from a specific locked room.
    3. Before analyzing the data, we will split the original data according to the survey questions and protect each disjoint data with a password so that individuals cannot be identified.
    4. All data will be kept for three years after the publication of the results. They will be securely destroyed afterwards.
  4. Before publishing the survey result, we promise to apply the following de-identification principle to all data.
    1. We will remove all personal identifiers (including affiliated organizations).
    2. With your prior consent, we will use a reported case as a typical example of sexual violence/sexual harassment. When doing so, we will make sure to add fiction to the case (e.g., combining it with the content of another reported/imaginary case, changing the respondent’s academic discipline, position, fieldsite, etc. to something fictitious).
  5. The data will not be analyzed according to academic associations. Thus, the number of reported cases for each association will not be published and no link between academic associations and reported cases will be made.

We will not disclose the name of academic discipline(s), the community of which respondents belong to and the name of academic association(s) which have cooperated with us in publicizing the survey, if: 

    1. We find it easy for some people to make a connection between the separately analyzed data (e.g., the number of incidents reported and the respondents’ academic discipline), and guess or even identify the specific case. 
    2. We consider it highly possible that the anonymised survey results may provide some people a clue to the identification of the individual(s) and/or organization(s) involved in a particular case.

Ethical Clearance

This project has been approved by the Research Ethics Review Committee of the Graduate School of Humanities, at Nagoya University (reference number: NUHM-21-009). If you have questions or comments regarding your rights as a participant, they can be contacted at hum_sou[at]

Your participation in this survey is voluntary. If you find some of the survey questions difficult to answer, you have the right to skip these questions. You are free to withdraw from participating in this survey at any time without giving a reason and without detriment to yourself.

If you think you might be vulnerable to stress or mental health issues, you may choose to “skip” the answer page where the respondents are requested to provide the details of the incident(s) and just tell us the fact that you were the victim of sexual violence. Of course, you may choose NOT to participate in this study.

Do you understand the terms outlined above and agree to participate in this survey?
* This survey will take approximately 3 to 30 minutes to complete.


Once you click “Yes”, you will automatically be taken to the first page of our survey.

If you want to take a brief look at the survey questions first, please refer to this document


If you have any questions about what you’ve just read, feel free to ask, or contact the following persons:
Ruriko Otomo (Hokkaido University): Principal investigator of HiF
Ai Sugie (Nagoya University): Director of Web survey

The survey is supported by the Japan Inter-Society Liaison Association Committee for Promoting Equal Participation of Men and Women in Science and Engineering (EPMEWSE, and Gender Equality Association for Humanities and Social Sciences (GEAHSS,