Tackling sexual harassment
Sexual harassment is a significant issue in the Australian community. Despite there being laws against it for the past 25 years, it continues to occur in workplaces and schools.
Sexual harassment in the workplace often includes a significant physical element, such as unwanted touching. In schools, a lot of sexual harassment is based on verbal taunts and teasing.
Addressing sexual harassment is, therefore, an important human rights issue. Each person has basic human rights, including the right to be free from harassment. If these rights are not respected then a person can feel degraded.
While everyone has the right to be free from harassment and intimidation, we also have a responsibility to ensure that we treat others in a way that we would expect to be treated. This idea of mutual respect is central to maintaining strong, healthy communities.
Each state and territory education department has strong policies on sexual harassment, as well as other forms of harassment and bullying.
This resource is designed to support these policies and to engage students in an active examination of sexual harassment; its causes, effects and strategies to address it.
A video ‘Tackling sexual harassment’ has been developed to complement the resource and activity sheets. A script of the video is supplied as an alternative to the video, or as an additional resource for reference in the discussions arising out of the study of this topic.
By understanding their rights and responsibilities, students can work together to identify and address sexual harassment in their school – whether it happens to them or if they see it happening to another student.