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July 16, 2018 | by  | in News Politics | [ssba]

The Party Line

Every day, women testify to sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. What political action is needed to break up this pervasive culture?


The Young Nats are thankful that due to the changing workplace culture and the success of international campaigns, an increasing amount of women are reporting workplace sexual abuse. Despite this there is still a large amount of ground to cover before any form of sexual abuse can be a distant memory.
The previous National Government continually worked at this issue including in Budget 2017 where we allocated more than $45 million to create a 24/7 sexual assault helpline and to provide additional crisis support. However more work has to be done and with the current Government’s record of defining a sexual assault as a “non-violent assault” after a prison guard was attacked in her workplace, the Young Nats have no faith that this will happen.

– Grahame Wood

ACT on Campus

There is only so much that legislation can achieve when it comes to sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. I dispute the idea that one political action will stop all cases of workplace harassment. Employees are protected under employment law and harassment and assault should not be tolerated. Women and men who fall victim to workplace harassment/assault need to feel confident that they will be listened to when reporting the incident. While there have been too many high profile reports of sexual harassment and assault (Russell McVeagh), I am not convinced that this qualifies as a “culture”. Majority of employees and employers are good individuals with very few spoiling an otherwise healthy workforce. We just need to ensure that everyone understands that workplace harassment/assault will not be tolerated and that it’s important to report it.

– James Allan


There is so much political action that needs to be done, Labour and the Greens have long stood up for those affected by sexual assault.This Govt is starting by looking at an integrated and responsive family and sexual violence system, more accessible support people in workplace and education institutions, training for bar staff and other workplaces as well as financially supporting other amazing NGOs that do so much in this area already. For the first time we also have a person in the Executive focused on family and sexual violence, Jan Logie. (We also need less National PMs that think it’s okay harass young women in cafes.)
Locally, Vic Labour has committed to reducing sexual assault and sexual violence in our city – our Chair and many other members work with Wellington Rape Crisis, SAPN, and the #Don’tGuessTheYes campaign. You’ll see us regularly volunteering for these organizations with other grassroots movements, and pushing for progressive action to be taken at higher levels.

– Teri O’Neill


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