Review of Sexual Harassment in Victorian Courts

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual behaviour. It can be physical, verbal or written and has nothing to do with consensual friendship or flirting. Sexual harassment is against the law.

Both women and men can experience sexual harassment, but overwhelmingly women are the victims of sexual harassment and men the perpetrators.

​Certain groups also experience disproportionately high rates of sexual harassment, including LGBTIQ people, young women, women with disabilities, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, and women from multicultural and multifaith backgrounds.

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual behaviour that causes a person to feel offended, humiliated or intimidated, where a reasonable person could have anticipated that reaction in the circumstances.

Sexual harassment includes:

  • an unwelcome sexual advance
  • an unwelcome request for sexual favours
  • any other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.

It can be physical, verbal or written (including electronic communication).

Everyone has the right to be safe and free from sexual harassment while at work.

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