How can employees help create safe environments?
Whether our work is part- or full-time, hourly or contractual, temporary or permanent – sexual harassment should never be part of the job.
A healthy workplace and a safe environment enables every employee to thrive and achieve their full potential. The ongoing #MeToo movement reflects the unfortunate reality that no industry is immune to sexual violence and sexual harassment.
As an employee, you have the right to a workplace free of harassment and violence.
hit the gas on a learning journey
Employees may feel unsure or stuck about what to do if they or another coworker is experiencing violence or harassment in the workplace. Workplaces Respond has a great resource center with information for both survivors and co-workers who may suspect a colleague is experiencing violence.
Want to learn more about sexual violence generally? Check out:
- NJCASA’s ‘Sexual Violence 101’ fact sheet
- The National Sexual Violence Resource Center’s infographic on sexual violence statistics
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s resources on sexual violence and prevention.
provide support when someone discloses to you
Your words are powerful and can convey a sense of support should a co-worker disclose that they are a survivor of sexual violence. Responses like, “I believe you” or ‘You do not deserve for this to happen to you,” or “I applaud you for your courage for sharing,” are affirming and convey to the person that you support them.
If you feel comfortable to connect them with resources, every county in New Jersey has a sexual violence program that can provide counseling and other assistance.
make a u-turn for bystander behavior
Pro-social bystanders are people who can find safe ways to act when they witness harmful behaviors and attitudes. Cultural change starts with you! “Hit the brakes” and address victim-blaming comments in your workplace. Speak up if you hear a sexist joke or witness bullying behavior. Through your actions and words, you can directly communicate appropriate workplace behavior.
This publication was made possible via a grant from the New Jersey Department of Children and Families’ Division on Women. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Department of Children and Families’ Division on Women.