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Speaking out against sexual harassment

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HC Online | 25 Aug 2010, 12:00 AM Agree 0
Evidence suggests that bystanders often remain silent when they witness sexual harassment at work. Harriet Stacey outlines what can be done about it
  • Bernie Althofer - EGL I Assessments Pty Ltd | 30 Aug 2010, 01:19 PM Agree 0
    Unfortunately, getting involved in another persons workplace or domestic issue can be perceived as ''not my job.'' Just as The Trade Practices Act is being used in relation to a matter involving allegations of sexual harassment, changes to Work Health and Safety Act 2012 may mean that bystanders are going to be ''pulled'' into incidents, whether they want to or not. Some people may not have the skills or knowledge that helps them step in on behalf of the person being subjected to the behaviours. As a former sexual harassment referral officer, telling victims that one of the options was to ''do nothing'' was sometimes met with the response ''How will they change if no-one tells them?'' If managers do their job in ensuring that workplace standards are met, pull inappropriate behaviour or comments into line, and support those who need to report such behaviour, perhaps victims and witnesses might have more confidence in reporting the behaviours.
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