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Almost 75% of women sexually harassed at work not happy with outcome of complaint to employer, survey reveals

Female looking at a sunset | Shine Lawyers

A survey conducted on behalf of Shine Lawyers has revealed harrowing information about sexual harassment in Australian workplaces.

Almost 19% of women have been sexually harassed at work, yet only one in five of the women surveyed (20.7%) made a complaint.

Among the women who did file a complaint, almost 75% were dissatisfied with the outcome. One in three (34.1%) said that their complaint was ignored completely, with no action taken at all.

ReachTEL surveyed 3677 women over 18 during the nights of 16 and 17 August 2018, gathering information for Shine Lawyers.

The findings they came across were detailed and alarming.

Almost 22 per cent of women aged 51 to 65 didn’t make a complaint because they were worried about losing their jobs.

And 18.2% decided to resign with no job to go to after making their complaint.

However, 15.4% said they found out how to make a complaint from hearing #metoo stories, perhaps revealing how effective such movements can be.

“It is very worrying to see so many women, who have been brave enough to come forward and report harassment to their employer, unhappy with the outcome. We can’t allow this to continue in Australian workplaces,” said Shine Lawyers Employment Law expert Will Barsby.

“There needs to be a proactive campaign by employers to ensure there is proper education of their staff about what is appropriate in the workplace. Creating policies and procedures that are enforced will build a culture of safety and security for female workers. Prevention is key.”

According to the Australian Human Rights Commission, one in five women and one in 20 men will experience sexual harassment in the workplace at some point.

In 2017, the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Personal Safety Survey showed that sexual harassment and violence were on the rise in Australia. Yet fewer results were being reported to the police. (Source:

Download the full results

Download a copy of the full ReachTEL survey results here

Have you been sexually harassed at work?

If you’ve been sexually harassed in the workplace, you may be able to seek legal advice and make a claim for compensation. To find out more and to contact Shine Lawyers visit

Written by Shine Lawyers on . Last modified: August 28, 2018.

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