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Sexual harassment is a broad term that includes verbal, visual or physical behaviours that are unwanted, offensive, sexual and degrading in nature.

Some examples:

  • Unwelcome comments about someone’s body or their sexuality
  • Sexist jokes and language
  • Demanding dates or sexual favours
  • Demeaning and sexually explicit bragging (often called “locker room talk”)
  • Intrusive questions about someone’s gender identity or body parts
  • Using sexist or homophobic language, or any other behaviour that targets someone’s gender identity or sexuality
  • Displaying sexual images (such as pornography)
  • Sending someone unwanted sexual images, text messages, or emails
  • Unnecessary physical contact, including unwanted touching
  • Invading personal space
  • Sexually suggestive gestures
  • Sexual assault

There are different options available depending on your situation. A first step would be to get free, confidential legal advice from a SHAPE partner or your local community legal centre. SHAPE can help you understand your options so that you can make an informed decision on what you want to do. This may mean not doing anything at all except knowing your legal rights.

You may also want to write down what happened. Keeping a record can help you when you make a complaint or take legal action. Make sure you keep this document outside of your workplace.
If you feel overwhelmed, upset, or worried, you can also seek emotional support from your family doctor, a counsellor, or a local resource. For more information on resources to support your mental and physical health visit our resources section or contact us.

Did you witness something at work that made you feel uncomfortable or like it wasn’t right? You have a positive duty to report any unsafe working conditions, but you may want some advice on how to go about doing that.

We can help. SHAPE staff can provide free information on what to do if you have witnessed workplace sexual harassment. It is the employer’s responsibility to provide a safe environment. If you see sexual harassment in your workplace, say something.

Contact us today for more information

The BRAVE infographic below provides important suggestions if someone discloses sexual harassment to you.

You can call us for free, confidential advice, and you can refer the person who confided in you to us.

 

brave

 

This website is for general information purposes only.  Please contact your local legal clinic for advice about your situation

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