Been there! Yes the fear of retribution is a reality!
Finally the conversation on sexual harassment is becoming more prevalent in society with the #metoo , the RCMP class action lawsuit, the Weinstein cases, Kevin Spacey ,the British Cabinet Minister, and as victims are speaking out to the serious devastating impact of sexual harassment. Effective leadership, accountability for perpetrators, having the conversation and education is part of making changes as well as supporting victims as they deal with the trauma.
“Through a number of public consultations, the federal government has heard evidence suggesting the fear of retaliation is keeping some Canadians from reporting sexual harassment in the workplace.
And when those incidents are reported, the workers said that often, the situations were “not dealt with effectively.”
Sexual harassment leaves life long emotional scars and can impact future careers, education and personal relationships.
“Canadians responding to our online survey told us that harassment and sexual violence in workplaces are under-reported, often due to a fear of retaliation, and that when they are reported, they are not dealt with effectively,” Haidju wrote in the report’s opening message.
The document goes on to offer a limited, yet bleak snapshot of life on the job for some Canadians.”
If you are experiencing sexual harassment speak up, it is not your fault, Seek out positive support and find your voice. yes you can be successful and find happiness.
“Respondents who experienced sexual harassment tended to work in environments with a higher ration of men in positions of power,” the document says.”
Everyone deserves to feel safe at home and work. How do we create changes? In no particular order the following:
-Effective leadership which means enforcing respectful workplace policies, responding to complaints, adopting a zero tolerance for violence in the workplace.
-Support for victims!!! Speaking up is scary and there is the fear of ruined careers and escalation of violence.
-Effective communication and listening skills. Recognizing the signs of workplace conflict and violence, the causes and triggers. What do we need? Counseling, mediation, written or formal discipline? Be curious.
-Getting all the employees to buy into the idea and benefits of a violent free workplace. Strategies in place to prevent repetition.
-Workshops on what workplace violence and sexual harassment looks like and the impact to victims, at work and in personal lives. Create awareness on the difference between harassment and a mistake in communication which is the repetition and intent. of the behavior.
-Have ongoing training from those internal or outside agencies who have the expertise in sexual harassment training, Conflict resolution, mediation etc.
-Training in conflict resolution, not everyone knows how to deal with conflict and being promoted into a leadership role does not mean they are qualified leaders.
It only takes one person to ruin a workplace and the silence of others keeps victims in fear.