Sexual harassment is prevalent in Australian workplaces. One in four women have experienced harassment at work, and men’s harassment of other men is also on the rise. Nearly one in five complaints received by the Australian Human Rights Commission under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) relate to sexual harassment.
The Know Where the Line Is national awareness raising strategy is a tripartite partnership between the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry which offers a unique and important opportunity to join forces to target employers and employees as part of broader efforts to prevent and reduce the harm of sexual harassment in Australian workplaces. This partnership recognises that not only is workplace sexual harassment an abuse of human rights, it is also something which has a negative impact on employee safety and security and is costly to businesses.
But most people who experience sexual harassment don’t report it – many don’t even recognise that their experience of unwelcome sexual behaviour at work is against the law.
Employers and employees need to know where the line is when it comes to sexual harassment. Unless we work together – community, business, government and unions – to create more gender equitable workplaces, we will never see an end to workplace sexual harassment.
Sexual Harassment. See. Talk. Support
Research shows that whilst most people do take action when they witness sexual harassment in the workplace, many are unsure what to do if they see or hear about behaviours that cross the line.
TALK. It takes courage to speak up. Talk with your boss, your colleagues or with the person who is crossing the line.
SUPPORT. Don’t underestimate the power of support. It can help a colleague stand up and take action.
How to make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission
If you believe you have experienced sexual harassment, you can contact the Australian Human Rights Commission’s National Information Service on 1300 656 419. You can also make a complaint online at http://www.humanrights.gov.au/complaints/make-complaint