26 September 2023

New WorkSafe campaign attacks gender violence

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WorkSafe Victoria has launched a campaign calling out workplace violence that targets people because of their gender or sexual orientation.

Executive Director of Health and Safety at WorkSafe, Narelle Beer said the new It comes in many forms campaign sought to raise awareness and educate employers and workers of the harm that gendered violence could cause.

“Everyone should feel safe and respected at work, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation,” Dr Beer said.

“Work-related gendered violence can be insidious, starting with what might seem like ‘low level’ comments, gestures or ‘jokes’ or escalating to inappropriate contact, stalking and aggression,” she said.

“Gendered violence is never ‘just part of the job’ and employers have a duty to take all reasonable steps to prevent it.”

Dr Beer said work-related gendered violence included any behaviour that affected the health and safety of someone because of their gender, sexual orientation, or because they didn’t conform to gender stereotypes.

“It can include stalking, verbal abuse, unwelcome comments or gestures, or even threats or physical violence and can involve colleagues, supervisors, clients or customers,” she said.

“Sadly, many incidents still go unreported as victims may fear stigma or even losing their job if they speak up, particularly if they are already in insecure employment.”

The Executive Director said some workers were more likely to experience work-related gendered violence, including women, young workers, workers who are LGBTIQA+, those from culturally diverse or migrant backgrounds, those living with disability, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workers.

Dr Beer said the campaign ads portrayed gendered violence as a dark, menacing cloud which took the shape of different forms of violence, such as a hand that grabs, a threatening stare, or abusive words.

The campaign ads, with sound, can be accessed at this PS News link.

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