If you are sexually harassed at work there are a number of things you can do, on your own, or with help from others. There are also a range of services that can provide free and confidential support.
If you, or someone else, is in immediate danger you should call the police on 000. If there is no immediate danger but you or someone else needs police assistance, phone 131 444.
There is no one right way to respond to sexual harassment, just like there is no wrong way to respond. We all react to stress and trauma differently.
Remember, if you are sexually harassed at work, it is not your fault.
If you are sexually harassed at work there are a number of things you can do, on your own, or with help from others. For example:
- Remove yourself from the situation by logging off your device, hanging up the phone, or walking away.
- Call the police on 000 if you feel unsafe. You can also call the 24/7 Police Assistance Line on 131 444 to report a crime.
- Ask for help from your co-workers, manager, friends, or family members.
- Seek professional help from a counselling service or helpline.
- Keep a record of what happened, when and where it happened, who was involved and anything else you think may be important, in case you wish to make a complaint or report (now or at a later date). If the harassment occurred on the phone or social media, consider taking screenshots as evidence of the harassment.
- Ask for advice about your workplace rights: There are government and non-government organisations that can provide you with free advice about workplace sexual harassment, including your options for making a complaint. For more information, see ‘Services that can provide advice’.
- Make an internal complaint or report to management or human resources (as outlined in your workplace’s relevant policy or procedure, if they have one).
- Make a complaint or report to a government agency: There are independent organisations that can accept complaints of workplace sexual harassment, such as the Australian Human Rights Commission or your state or territory’s human rights/anti-discrimination agency. For more information see ‘Reporting workplace sexual harassment’.
- Apply for a ‘stop sexual harassment’ order from the Fair Work Commission if you think the workplace harassment is likely to continue and you are still in the same workplace. The Commission can order that the sexual harassment at work stop, an apology be made or that support or training in the workplace is provided.
Click on the sidebar navigation links to find out more about organisations that can help people who are sexually harassed at work.