CANBERRA, Sept. 12 (NsNewsWire) — Seven out of 10 Australians have experienced sexual harassment at some point in their lives, a major survey found, reports Xinhua.
The study, released by Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins on Wednesday, revealed that 71 percent of Australians over the age of 15 have experienced sexual harassment, with 85 percent of women and 56 percent of men being subjected to the behaviour.
The rate of sexual harassment was highest among those aged between 18 and 29 years, with 75 percent of people in that group having experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime.
Workplaces were the most common place for sexual harassment to take place with 39 percent of females and 26 percent of males saying they experienced the behaviour at work in the last five years.
“One in three workers in Australia said that they had been sexually harassed at work over the last five years, compared with one in five from our 2012 survey and one in ten in 2003,” Jenkins told the National Press Club on Wednesday.
“What is clear is that this conduct begins the moment people enter the workplace, and that harassers prey on those less powerful than them.”
The survey of 10,000 Australians was undertaken by Roy Morgan Research and commissioned by the nation’s Human Rights Commission.
It found that 79 percent of workplace sexual harassers were male and in 64 percent of cases there was only one perpetrator; usually a co-worker at the same level as the victim.
In 56 percent of cases, the harassment was ongoing for more than six months.
Only 17 percent of victims made a formal complaint at work and of those people, 45 percent said no change occurred as a result of the complaint.
Of those who made a complaint, 53 percent said they were labelled as a troublemaker, ostracized or ignored by colleagues or quit their jobs.
The most common outcome of complaints was a formal warning for the perpetrator, issued in 30 percent of cases.
The Human Rights Commission will launch an inquiry into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces in late September. It will accept submissions until Jan. 31, 2019. Enditem