What you can do if you have been sexually harassed at work

SINGAPORE – Two in five workers in Singapore have been sexually harassed at work in the past five years, according to the first nationally representative survey on workplace sexual harassment here.

The study of 1,000 working male and female citizens and permanent residents was done by market research company Ipsos and Aware.

Here’s some advice from gender equality group Aware on how to deal with sexual harassment in the workplace:

1. Consider talking to someone whom you trust.

2. Seek advice or counselling from an organisation or service that specialises in helping those who have experienced sexual harassment, such as Aware’s Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Advisory.

This can be for emotional support, advice on the next steps to take and in some cases, practical support such as befriending services and referral to legal help.

3. Review your company’s internal workplace sexual harassment policies, if there is one.

Not all companies have in place such a policy, but it is good to check if your company has one and if so, what are the protocols.

You may want to look out for confidentiality clauses, who to approach and how to file a report internally.

4. Document everything you can. To the best of your memory, keep a detailed written record of any actions, comments or incidents that occurred.

This could include a date, place, description of what happened, if there were witnesses and what your own reaction was.

If there are texts or e-mails, save them. If you choose to file a report either legally or internally, this may be used as evidence.

Aware’s Workplace Harassment and Discrimination Advisory is a free service providing advice and support to those facing discrimination or harassment at work. You can call them on 6950-9191.

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