Stethoscope

#88 Have you been sexually harassed at work?

 

10 July 2019

Have you been sexually harassed at work or treated differently because you are a woman? Have you witnessed inappropriate behaviour and not known what to do?

If yes, you can confidentially contact the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission for information and support. Commission staff can provide guidance about your rights and options, including making an anonymous report or a formal complaint.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual behaviour which could be expected to make a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment can be physical, verbal or written and include comments about the way a person looks; sexually suggestive behaviour, such as leering, sexually suggestive comments or jokes; repeated requests to go out; brushing up against someone or touching; requests for sex; sexually explicit use of IT, social media or text and sexual assault. 

A 2018 national sexual harassment survey revealed that sexual harassment is increasingly impacting people at work, with one in three workers saying they had been sexually harassed at work in the last five years.

Discrimination is treating, or proposing to treat, someone unfavourably because of a personal characteristic protected by the law. It is against the law in Victoria to discriminate against a person because of their sex or characteristics associated with their sex, such as carer responsibilities, pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Sexual harassment and sex discrimination are symptoms of gender inequality and all workplaces in Victoria have a legal duty to prevent and address it.

 

We can help

If you decide to make a formal complaint about sexual harassment or sex discrimination you will have access to our confidential, free, fair and informal dispute resolution service. Our victim-centric process focuses on remedying harm caused and hurt experienced, enabling you to detail your allegations in a safe environment.

The Commission’s Enquiry Line is open 9am–12.30pm and 1.30pm–4.30pm Monday to Friday.

More information is available on our website.

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