Workplace sexual harassment must be called out

The stories of sexual harassment, assault and violence in our country’s parliament have sent shockwaves across our communities and workplaces. 

Unfortunately, these matters are not just isolated to the nation’s Capital.

For too many SDA members, sexual harassment is more than just a news story, it’s a reality. 

Our survey of over 3000 SDA members found that 2 in every 5 members have experienced sexual harassment at work in the past 5 years. 

On top of this, we found that 46% of women had experienced sexual harassment as opposed to 29% of men. 

While the stories of Brittany Higgins and other victims of workplace sexual harassment have helped raise awareness of this issue, there is much more that must be done to eliminate this issue. 

Our survey found that only 13% of SDA members had made a formal complaint or report about their most recent incident of workplace sexual harassment. 

We know that calling out, speaking out against and formally reporting sexual harassment isn’t an easy thing to do.

But coming forward about your experiences at work is critical to protecting yourselves and others now into the future and you’re not alone in this process.

Like any other safety issue, not reporting sexual harassment doesn’t fix the problem, it means it will continue to exist and others will continue to be at risk.

In order to make our workplaces safer, perpetrators of sexual harassment need to be found out, called out and kicked out.

What should I do if I experience or witness sexual harassment at work?

  1. Keep a diary of any incidents and the details (e.g. when, where and what happened). This can be useful later on if you need to provide evidence and creates a record of the incidents.

  2. Tell someone you trust – such as a coworker, your manager, your SDA Delegate or SDA Organiser. 

  3. Make a formal complaint to your employer. The SDA will be here to represent you every step of the way. 

  4. Contact the SDA for advice. Even if you’re not ready to formally report it, myself and other SDA Case Managers are here to support you, listen to you and assist you during this time. 

Sexual harassment is not welcome in SDA-organised workplaces. 

If you experience sexual harassment at work, you’re not alone.

The SDA is committed to dealing with all incidents sympathetically and confidentially and fighting for the best outcome for you.

If you need any advice or support about sexual harassment, please don’t hesitate to call us on 8139 1000 or email