Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaign Wants You To Know The Line & Not Cross It!

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Sick of hearing about street harassment and sexual harassment? So are we! Yet it continues to happen despite the many viral videos, articles and discussions in the media.

Sexual harassment has become such a joke, something that is easily brushed aside that it often turns into victim blaming, where society tells them to “lighten up” or that “they were asking for it” being dressed a certain way (for women especially).

In the UK, Laura Bates who started the Everyday Sexism project has been on a mission to enlighten people that this issue occurs every day, to almost every woman. It is an epidemic. Men are certainly not exempt from being harassed, but a disproportionate amount of victims are female.

Over in Australia, the Human Rights Commission has released a new ad campaign teaching citizens to ‘Know The Line’ and not to cross it.

“Sexual harassment is prevalent in Australian workplaces. One in four women have experienced harassment at work, and men’s harassment of other men is also on the rise. Nearly one in five complaints received by the Australian Human Rights Commission under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) relate to sexual harassment,” says the campaign’s website on the matter.

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The national awareness campaign came about from a strategic partnership with the Aust. HRC, The Australian Council of Trade Unions, and The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in order to better target sexual harassment in the workplace, and engage employers to know how to handle this issue.

“This partnership recognizes that not only is workplace sexual harassment an abuse of human rights, it is also something which has a negative impact on employee safety and security and is costly to businesses. But most people who experience sexual harassment don’t report it – many don’t even recognise that their experience of unwelcome sexual behaviour at work is against the law.”

“Employers and employees need to know where the line is when it comes to sexual harassment. Unless we work together – community, business, government and unions – to create more gender equitable workplaces, we will never see an end to workplace sexual harassment.”

The campaign is offering support and resources in order for people to know how to report it and not to be afraid o the consequences.

“It is not only the people on the receiving end of sexual harassment, and the perpetrators, that need to ‘know where the line is’ with sexual harassment. It is also the people who see or hear the harassment. As people who experience sexual harassment rarely report it, its effects remain hidden. That’s why we need to enlist the support of our colleagues, the bystanders,” said Elizabeth Broderick, Australia’s Sex Discrimination Commissioner in a post about the launch of the campaign.

“We need to ensure people can recognize behavior that crosses the line. We want people to talk about this issue, to raise awareness in their teams and workplaces about how harmful harassment is.”

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The campaign used a three-pronged approach to engaging people to be part of ending this cycle in the workplace:

“See” means knowing where the line is and if you see or hear something that makes you feel uncomfortable, don’t ignore it.

“Talk” means talking – with your boss, your colleagues or with the person who is crossing the line.

“Support” means making sure the target of workplace sexual harassment is supported as it can help them stand up and take action.

According to the Huffington Post, sexual harassment is just as big of a big deal in America.

“In 2013, The Huffington Post and YouGov polled 1,000 adults, both men and women, about their experiences with sexual harassment at work. Thirteen percent of respondents said they had been sexually harassed by a boss or another superior, and 19 percent reported being harassed by a coworker other than a boss or superior. Only 30 percent of people who had been harassed ever reported it,” writes Nina Bahadur.

In addition to these stats, Cosmopolitan.com surveyed over 2,000 women in Feb 2o15 and found that one in three women between the ages of 18-34 has been sexually harassed at work, and only 29 percent had ever reported the issue.

Do you think images like this will be effective? Or does there need to be tougher legislation? Here are some more images from the Australian ‘Know The Line’ campaign:

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know-the-line-campaign

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