- Sexual harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour, which makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated.
- Sexual harassment is not interaction, flirtation or friendship which is mutual or consensual.
- Sexual harassment is a type of sex discrimination.
- The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) makes sexual harassment unlawful in some circumstances.
- Despite being outlawed for over 25 years, sexual harassment remains a large problem in Australia.
- Sexual harassment disproportionately affects women with 1 in 5 experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace at some time. However, 1 in 20 men also report experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace.
Who Needs To Take Sexual Harassment Training?
All members of an organisation’s workforce that includes
- Boards of Directors
- Contract Workers
Managers and supervisors must be given additional specialised training on how to properly handle cases of sexual harassment.
Identifying sexual harassment
Sexual harassment can take many different forms in the workplace and it can be obvious or indirect, physical or verbal, repeated or one-off and perpetrated by males and females against people of the same or opposite sex.
Sexual harassment may include:
- staring or leering
- unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against you or unwelcome touching
- suggestive comments or jokes
- insults or taunts of a sexual nature
- intrusive questions or statements about your private life
- displaying posters, magazines or screen savers of a sexual nature
- sending sexually explicit emails or text messages
- inappropriate advances on social networking sites
- accessing sexually explicit internet sites
- requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates
- behaviour that may also be considered to be an offence under criminal law, such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, stalking or obscene communications.
Whats the First Steps?
The first step in preventing and eliminating sexual harassment involves educating all members of the workforce on sexual harassment, acceptable behaviours and cultural respect. Directors, Managers and supervisors must be given additional specialised training on how to properly handle cases of sexual harassment and bullying. The final step is setting up a process for when sexual harassment occurs:
- Reporting complaints – Whistle Blower Service Hotlines
- Handling complaints – Contact Officers Training if internalised
- Investigations, and
- Corrective measures and Education
Module 1 – Introduction to sexual harassment
Module 2 – Understanding Sexual Harassment
Module 3 – Creating a harassment-free workplace
Module 4 – Sexual Harassment and the law
Module 5 – Preventing sexual harassment in the workplace