Skip to main content

Search

Endnotes - Working without fear: Results of the Sexual Harassment National Telephone Survey (2012)

Discrimination Sex Discrimination
Friday 14 December, 2012

Working without fear:

Results of the Sexual Harassment National Telephone Survey



Endnotes

  1. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 20 Years On: The
    Challenges Continue...; Sexual Harassment in the Australian Workplace
    (2004). At http://humanrights.gov.au/sex_discrimination/workplace/challenge_continues/data/download.html (viewed
    4 October 2012).
  2. Australian Human Rights Commission, Sexual Harassment: Serious Business;
    Results of the 2008 Sexual Harassment National Telephone Survey
    (2008). At http://humanrights.gov.au/sexualharassment/serious_business/index.html (2008 National Survey) (viewed 4 October 2012).
  3. Each wave of the sexual harassment national telephone survey investigated
    the prevalence, nature and reporting of sexual harassment in Australian
    workplaces in the preceding five year period (2003 National Survey: 1998 to
    2003; 2008 National Survey: 2003 to 2008; 2012 National Survey: 2007 to
    2012).
  4. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, A Bad Business: Review of
    Sexual Harassment Complaints 2002
    (2002). At http://humanrights.gov.au/sex_discrimination/workplace/bad_business/index.html (viewed
    4 October 2012).
  5. Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, Gender Equality: What
    Matters to Australian Women and Men, The Listening Tour Community Report
    (2008), 14-15. At http://humanrights.gov.au/sex_discrimination/listeningtour/index.html (viewed
    4 October 2012).
  6. Australian Human Rights Commission, Gender Equality Blueprint (2010),
    19. At http://humanrights.gov.au/sex_discrimination/publication/blueprint/index.html (viewed
    4 October 2012).
  7. Australian Human Rights Commission, Review into the Treatment of Women in
    the Australian Defence Force: Phase 2 Report
    (2012), 250-278. At http://humanrights.gov.au/defencereview/index.html (viewed
    4 October 2012)
  8. Every year, Roy Morgan Research conducts over 50,000 face-to-face interviews
    in Australia. These interviews form the basis of its Single Source Database.
    Approximately 40% of participants also return additional self-completion
    diaries, the Product Poll and Media Diary.
  9. A public notice was placed on the website of the Commission and sent to its
    ‘Indigenous Social Justice’ electronic mailing list. See http://www.humanrights.gov.au/sex_discrimination/survey/index.html (viewed
    4 October 2012). A public notice was also placed on the website of the National
    Congress of Australia’s First People inviting Aboriginal and Torres Strait
    Islander peoples to nominate to participate in the 2012 National Survey.
  10. According to the 2006 Census, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
    represent 1.8% of the Australian population aged 15 years and over.
  11. See also Paula McDonald, Sara Charlesworth and Somali Cerise, ‘Below
    the “Tip of the Iceberg”: Extra Legal Responses to Workplace Sexual
    Harassment’ (2011) 34 Women’s Studies International Forum 278, 287; Sara Charlesworth, Paula McDonald and Somali Cerise, ‘Naming and
    Claiming Sexual Harassment in Australia’ (2011) 46(2) Australian
    Journal of Social Issues
    141, 155.
  12. It is important to acknowledge that sexual harassment is also unlawful under
    the anti-discrimination laws of all Australian states and territories and that
    there are some differences in the legal regulation and operation of the
    prohibitions against sexual harassment in those jurisdictions.
  13. Section 28A of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) defines sexual
    harassment as follows:

(1) For the purposes of this Division, a
person sexually harasses another person (the person harassed) if:

(a) the person makes an unwelcome sexual advance, or an unwelcome request for
sexual favours, to the person harassed; or

(b) engages in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in relation to the
person harassed;

in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the
circumstances, would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed
would be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

(1A) For the purposes of subsection (1), the circumstances to be taken into
account include, but are not limited to, the following:

(a) the sex, age, marital status, sexual preference, religious belief, race,
colour, or national or ethnic origin, of the person harassed;

(b) the relationship between the person harassed and the person who made the
advance or request or who engaged in the conduct;

(c) any disability of the person harassed;

(d) any other relevant circumstance.

(2) In this section: conduct of a sexual nature includes making a
statement of a sexual nature to a person, or in the presence of a person,
whether the statement is made orally or in writing.

  1. Sex and Age Discrimination Legislation Amendment Act 2011 (Cth), ss
    53-54.
  2. Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), s 28A(1A).
  3. Above, s 28B. A ‘workplace participant’ is defined as:
    ‘(a) an employer or employee; (b) a commission agent or contract worker;
    (c) a partner in a partnership’.
  4. Above, s 28G.
  5. Although the incidence of sexual harassment was higher in 2003 (28%), this
    difference was explained in the 2008 National Survey report. See 2008 National
    Survey, above 2, 11-12, 37-38.
  6. The 2008 National Survey did not disaggregate this data on the basis of
    sex.
  7. See also Charlesworth, McDonald and Cerise, above 11.
  8. Australian Human Rights Commission, Encourage. Support. Act! Bystander
    Approaches to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
    (2012), 3. At http://humanrights.gov.au/sexualharassment/bystander/index.html (viewed
    4 October 2012).
  9. Ibid.
  10. It should be noted that the 2003 National Survey data is based on
    respondents who reported sexual harassment in the workplace in the last five
    years based on the legal definition only. Data from the 2008 and 2012 National
    Surveys is based on those who reported sexual harassment in the workplace
    according to the legal definition and on those who experienced at least one type
    of behaviour considered to constitute sexual harassment. Comparisons will
    therefore be made between the 2008 National Survey and 2012 National Survey
    only, with the exception of two items in the 2012 National Survey list of
    behaviours that were not included in the 2008 National Survey (‘sexual
    gestures, indecent sexual exposure or inappropriate display of the body’
    and ‘any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature’).
  11. It should be noted that the small decrease for most types of behaviours does
    not imply an overall decrease in the incidence of sexual harassment. Rather,
    this question reflects the distribution of the types of behaviours experienced
    across the working population. The 2012 National Survey contained two extra
    response options that may have affected the distribution of responses across the
    remaining behaviour types.
  12. This includes ‘unwelcome touching, hugging, cornering or
    kissing’, ‘inappropriate physical contact’ and ‘actual
    or attempted rape’. The majority (10/14) of respondents who experienced physical harassment (n=14) said it was a one-off incident. Two
    respondents reported that the harassment was sporadic: for one of those
    respondents, it lasted four to six months and, for the other, it was ongoing. In
    contrast, the 2008 National Survey found that respondents who experienced
    physical harassment were more likely to report that it lasted in excess of one
    month.
  13. Sexual harassment was also most likely to be a one-off incident for those
    who experienced non-physical harassment (n=309) (41%), consistent with
    the findings of the 2008 National Survey.
  14. While the 2003 and 2008 National Surveys recorded the age of respondents,
    neither survey asked respondents their age at the time they were sexually
    harassed.
  15. Australian Bureau of Statistics, Labour Force, Australia (6291.0.55.001) (August 2012). At http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6291.0.55.001 (viewed
    4 October 2012).
  16. For the purposes of the 2012 National Survey, ‘small workplaces’
    means workplaces with fewer than 25 employees, ‘medium workplaces’
    means workplaces with 26 to 100 employees and ‘large workplaces’
    means workplaces with more than 100 employees.
  17. See also Sara Charlesworth et al., Formal Complaints of Workplace Sexual
    Harassment lodged with Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
    Commissions
    (2012). At http://w3.unisa.edu.au/hawkeinstitute/cwl/documents/sexual-harassment-report.pdf (viewed
    4 October 2012).
  18. Australian Human Rights Commission, above 21, 3.
  19. Above, 20-23.
  20. Above, 35-40.

^Top