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The Working Women’s Centre SA has today written to all major political parties, urging them to commit to tackling sexual violence in their offices. The Working Women’s Centre SA Inc said that after Brittany Higgins’ story, and revelations about other sexual assaults within political offices, political parties need mandated training for their staff about preventing and responding to sexual harassment.
Today, the Working Women’s Centre sent a letter to the secretaries of the Liberal Party, the Labor Party and the Greens at a federal and South Australian state level, as well as numerous political offices, asking them to take responsibility for addressing this issue. The Working Women’s Centre SA has proposed that all political parties engage in a tailored training program that aims to prevent and safely respond to incidents of sexual violence in the workplace.
They hope to see parties make commitments to changing their workplace culture through immediate action in line with the recommendations of the Respect@Work National Inquiry Report into sexual harassment.
Abbey Kendall, Director of the Working Women’s Centre SA, said “There is something deeply wrong when the workplaces of the country’s most powerful decision-makers are failing to maintain a safe workplace and culture for women. Given the significant resources our elected representatives and their offices have, there is no excuse for failing to provide a workplace free of sexual violence. No woman should lose her job because she is assaulted.’
‘These are not the first women working in politics to come forward with stories of sexual assault. There will be more stories, from all corners of politics. The systems, the attitudes, and the culture all need to change.’
‘For us, this is not about party politics. This is about ensuring that every working woman in the country can work safely and without fear of sexual violence or harassment. Every political party in the country needs to act.’
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