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Sexual Harassment

In response to the Respect@Work Report the Working Women’s Centre has made Sexual Harassment one of its focus areas. 

We are committed to advising and representing Women who have experienced sexual harassment in their workplace.  Further we are dedicated to empowering women on their rights at work, and creating change in workplaces of South Australia to reduce incidents of sexual harassment. 

The Working Women’s Centre is in the conception stage of projects in this regard – watch this space.

Sexual harassment illustration

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment comes in many forms including 

  • verbal forms of sexual harassment, such as sexually suggestive comments or jokes, intrusive questions about private life or physical appearance, repeated invitations to go on dates, or requests or pressure for sex
  • sexually explicit pictures, posters or gifts
  • intimidating or threatening behaviours such as inappropriate staring or leering, or sexual gestures,
  • inappropriate physical contact, such as unwelcome touching, hugging, cornering or kissing, or actual or attempted rape or sexual assault
  • sexual harassment involving the use of technology, including sexually explicit emails, SMS or social media, or indecent phone calls.

Reference: Executive Summary Respect@Work Report

39% of women experience sexual harassment at work

According to the most recent survey by the Human Rights Commission, 39% of women who had been in the workforce for the previous five years experienced sexual harassment at work during that time.

This includes lewd comments, unwelcome advances, and inappropriate touching are behaviours that pervade our places of work and study – from supermarkets, to university classrooms, to construction sites, to office environments. 

Australia’s most widespread work health safety issue

Sexual harassment is making many workplaces unsafe for women. Many women who speak up about their experiences are not believed, and in fact some face repercussions for speaking up. We are committed to reclaiming our places of work and study from sexual harassment.

What we’re doing

  • We hosted a webinar ‘Reclaim the Workplace’, to come together and hear from some incredible women about how we can combat sexual harassment
  • We are in full support of the recommendations in the Respect@Work report
  • We run training for employers and workers about dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace
  • We are working on some other initiatives behind-the-scenes!

Fill out our survey

Let us know whether your workplace has a sexual harassment policy, complete our survey.

Successful young businesswoman using laptop at home during quarantine holding a coffee cup in hand while looking out of window

Why is this important?

Everyone deserves to feel safe at work

Sexual harassment is making many workplaces unsafe for women. We all need to work to eliminate sexual violence in our places of work and study.

Quotes from our Reclaim the Workplace webinar
‘The survey told us that 1 in 3 Australian workers had experienced sexual harassment in the last 5 years. We found it was in every industry, at every level and in every location.’ Kate Jenkins, Sex Discrimination Commissioner at our Reclaim the Workplace webinar

‘I think you reach a point in your career, in your working life, where you have to draw a line in the sand and say ‘I’m not willing to tolerate certain behaviours.’ The Hon Connie Bonaros MLC, SA Best at our Reclaim the Workplace webinar

How can you get involved?

icon make your voice count

Let us know whether your workplace has a sexual harassment policy

Start survey
icon webinar

Reclaim the workplace

Watch now
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Sign your workplace up for sexual harassment training

Get in touch

Learn more about sexual harassment by reading these case summaries.

Case Summaries

These case summaries give an overview of the facts by looking at the conduct and behaviours a complainant has experienced, the findings of the court in relation to the said conduct and lastly the rulings and compensation awarded by the courts.

Please note these cases summaries should not be taken as legal advice.

Read Sexual Harassment case summaries


Reclaim the workplace

We were joined by a panel of expert speakers to discuss what sexual harassment looks like, the extent of the problem in Australia, and what we can do to end sexual violence and harassment in our places of work and study.


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