Australia

Two-thirds of women sexually harassed at work, according to survey

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An Australian Council of Trade Unions survey has found nearly 64 per cent of women and 34 per cent of men have experienced sexual harassment at work.

Nearly two-thirds of women have been sexually harassed at work, along with more than a third of men, a union survey indicates.

The Australian Council of Trade Unions online survey on the issue received more than 9600 responses, with 64 per cent of women and 34 per cent of men reporting harassment. Results were released on Tuesday.

More than 82 per cent of harassers were men, but most of the behaviour is not being reported.

A majority of women say they've been harassed at work.
A majority of women say they've been harassed at work.
Getty Images

While almost 59 per cent of people disclosed their experience of harassment to another person, just 26.7 per cent pursued a formal complaint against their harasser.

More than half of people feared negative consequences for reporting sexual harassment.

ACTU president Michele O'Neil said workplace laws had failed women experiencing harassment at work.

"We need to change the rules. Sexual harassment is a workplace issue and people who experience it should be able to take it up through the workplace umpire," Ms O'Neil said.

ACTU president Michele O'Neil says workplace laws have failed women experiencing harassment at work.
ACTU president Michele O'Neil says workplace laws have failed women experiencing harassment at work.
AAP

"We need access to fair, effective and efficient complaints mechanisms that support people who've been harassed, not punish them."

Crude or offensive behaviour was the most common form of harassment, being reported by 69 per cent of respondents.

About 48 per cent experienced unwanted sexual attention, 35 per cent inappropriate touching and 18 per cent received explicit texts, emails or messages on social media.

Sexual coercion was experienced by eight per cent of respondents.

Two-thirds of people witnessed sexual harassment at work, with 23.6 per cent of those saying the harassment was frequent and 41.7 per cent saying it was occasional.

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