Violence against women is a huge problem throughout New Zealand, with many incidents going unreported. Often victims are blamed, the focus is on the behaviour of the victim, and rape myths are perpetuated (“She was asking for it by wearing a short skirt”). The victim is never at fault in cases of harassment and assault, but many people refuse to accept this and continue marginalising victims.
This report is targeted at both Universities and Polytechnics. Tertiary study shapes the lives of many people and it is the responsibility of the campus community to ensure that everyone has good experiences while studying.
Tertiary study is often young people’s first foray into the ‘real world’, therefore it is important to try and create a culture of respect and safety. Institutions must have an appropriate attitude when it comes to issues such as harassment and assault, and should be willing to fix gaps in their procedures when needed. This report attempts to begin this process.
The report consists of three parts –
A review of the sexual harassment policies of every public tertiary education provider in Aotearoa New Zealand,
The results of the NZUSA Student Relationship survey focussed around students’ perceptions of relationship abuse, and
Harassment (sexual, racial and bullying) and discrimination in the workplace are serious workplace issues.
At some time we may experience some form of inappropriate behavior from others. If at work, or among work colleagues, this behaviour may be from people of the same or opposite sex.
Depending on how we feel at the time, we may not see the behavior as a problem, we might grin and bear it, try to ignore it or tell the person to stop. We may also attempt to get away from the situation as soon as possible.
When sexual harassment, racial harassment, bullying and/or discrimination occur in the workplace, it raises some very complex issues for all of us.
TEU is a member of the Working Women’s Resource Centre which has recently produced a guide to dealing with harassment in the workplace. Download the guide here.
Ask any women about sexual harassment, and she is likely to have experienced it or to know of cases of it at work. In industrialised countries, 42-50 percent of female workers have been sexually harassed, in the European Union, 40-50% of women, and in Asia-Pacific countries between 30-40% of women workers reported some form of harassment. In a recent study in South Africa, 77 percent of women respondents experienced sexual harassment sometime during their working lives3. Few Latin American countries have recognised sexual harassment as a category of degrading treatment despite the fact that, according to ILO figures, between 30 percent and 50 percent of women workers in the region have suffered some form of sexual harassment, of varying degrees of severity, at some stage in their workplaces.