Gendered Violence and Sexual Harassment

Some types of behaviour are considered especially inappropriate not only because of the effect on the victim, but the underlying attitudes of the perpetrators which give rise to such behaviours.

If a person is made to feel uncomfortable, unsafe, threatened, ashamed, inferior, excluded, embarrassed or humiliated because of their sex, gender, sexual orientation, or because they do not adhere to dominant gender stereotypes or socially prescribed gender role, this is considered gendered violence.

This can include:

  • Stalking
  • Intimidation
  • Verbal abuse
  • Rude gestures
  • Offensive language and imagery
  • Sexual harassment
  • Physical assault including sexual assault and rape
  • Put downs, innuendo and insinuations
  • Ostracism and exclusion
  • Being undermined in your work or position

To help HSRs and workers better understand the risk of gendered violence in their workplaces, the Women's Team and the OHS Team at Trades Hall have developed the risk assessment tools below. They address the three areas which are likely to give rise to gendered violence risks: environment, work design and policies. 

Click on the one you want to download to view the full PDF.



Policies PDF

Gendered Violence and OHS

Section 21 of the OHS Act (2004) states that: "An employer must, so far as is reasonably practicable, provide and maintain for employees of the employer a working environment that is safe and without risks to health."

A workplace in which gendered violence is causing physical, sexual or psychological harm to a worker is clearly in breach of this.This locates the issue within an OHS framework, and therefore it can be dealt with like any other OHS issue.

More information, including a great video, go to this site.  

WorkSafe Victoria guidelines

In March 2020, new guidelines were launched by Jill Hennessy, Minister for Workplace Safety, regarding eradicating gendered violence in the workplace. The guidance provides information on identifying, preventing and responding to gendered violence in the workplace, which can range from comments and gestures through to sexual assault and rape.

Read more: Victorian government media release. Work-related gendered violence including sexual harassment: A guide for employers on preventing and responding to work-related gendered violence and work-related sexual harassment.

Check out our live video on the topic from March 2019!