Supportive Workplace: A Trauma-Informed and Victim-Centred Approach
A workplace system and environment which offers appropriate, timely and adequate support to victims of sexual harassment and bystanders is typically characterized as being
A trauma-informed organisation is one that functions on the premise of understanding trauma and its effects on victims as well as employees generally. As an essential element of fulfilling obligations under the positive duty, the organisation must strive to prevent unlawful behaviour. However, when such behaviour does occur, steps should be taken immediately and transparently to limit and mitigate the harmful effects.
A victim-centred approach places the rights, perspectives, well-being and overall needs of the victim at the heart of any policy and any response to sexual harassment. Creating a safe environment where victims and colleagues feel secure to speak up without any fears of being dismissed or retaliated against.
When individuals suffer a trauma or find themselves in a crisis situation they will often look to institutions or their employers to support and protect them. Employers must hold this concept front of mind when reports of sexual harassment arise. I Failing to offer timely and appropriate support not only perpetuates harm to the victim but also contributes to what psychologists’ term “institutional betrayal.”
This kind of action is vital not only for the victim but for the rest of the employees who will note the seriousness with which this type of challenge is being addressed.
to equip leaders and organisations with the tools they need to meet the positive duty:
Comprehensive Onboarding Package
Provide a detailed information sheet during onboarding, outlining available support resources and reporting mechanisms.
Visible Awareness Campaigns
Interactive Online Resources
Accessible Intranet Support Hub
Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs)
Establish and promote EAPs to provide confidential counselling and support services for employees affected by sexual harassment.
By following these practical recommendations, your organisation can cultivate a more respectful and inclusive work environment while effectively addressing issues related to sexual harassment.