16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign
If you’ve experienced sexual harassment, know that you are not alone. There are people who can help you. Below are some steps you can take to address this issue. Remember: you are entitled to work in a safe environment and be respected.
BE AWARE of your rights. Workplace policies are supposed to be available for all employees to consult. If there is no specific policy on sexual harassment, you may look into the ‘code of conduct’ that should cover the obligation of staff to behave in a respectful manner. You may want to consult organisations providing information on human rights or that support victims of domestic violence. (See the list below.)
COLLECT evidence – keep a diary recording all the details of the times you have been harassed.
INFORM your manager or supervisor – put all the details in writing and keep a copy of the email or letter.
EXPRESS YOURSELF…or not. If you feel confident, you can ask the person to stop the offensive behaviour immediately. However, if you feel threatened or you are afraid the situation may worsen, you may choose to talk to someone in authority, like a supervisor or someone from the office of human resources.
ASK your human resources team to intervene.
TALK to a friend who can provide moral support.
GET SUPPORT Consult an organisation in your country that can support victims of violence and explain your rights. This could be a crisis centre, a women’s organisation, the government division of labour if you work in the private sector, the ministry of public service if you work in the public sector, or the ministry or department of women. (See the list below.)
Let’s break the silence on sexual harassment!
- We have a collective responsibility to say stop!
- We need to talk more about it and not be shy to ask for help.
- We need legislation that condemns and punishes sexual harassment.
- We need workplace policies to prevent and deal with sexual harassment.
- We need to change our mindset and behaviour about relationships between women and men.