Amanda Nieweler

by Amanda Nieweler

Speaking up about harassment and assault

Speaking up about harassment and assault#metoo has become a voice for many sexual assault victims to begin to break their silence about their own personal experiences.

And it's gaining momentum.

It's not easy to come forward and say 'I was a victim of sexual assault'. And that's for very good reason.

Very often, the victim ends up having some form of blame handed back to them.

The listener of the complaint, often an authority figure, may tend to brush off the complaint as not quite as important as other items being dealt with.

Often, it's 'the victims fault to begin with'.

Hollywood isn't the only industry under scrutiny. The harassment scandal at Uber saw the end for their CEO and other top executives.

What does a scandal like this do to a company? These past months have seen Uber bogged down with serious allegations of sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and a toxic work environment.

The growing anger that comes from allegations like these, and especially when a company is seen as not handling these situations very well, leads to time and effort spent losing executives, hiring new executives, and managing negative press.

Of course, employees at all levels need to step down as is expected when scandals like these hit.

But it shouldn't have to get that far to begin with.

It's not a private industry issue anymore. It's an 'every industry' issue.

And every industry needs to handle allegations of harassment and abuse appropriately.

A recent story in Global News talks about how the RCMP are looking to expand third-party reporting of sexual abuse and harassment.

A poll showed that 82% of victims of sexual assault didn't go to police.

Only 18% of victims did go to the police.

And of those, 7% of victims reported getting charges laid or a conviction.

This is lower than the rate that other crimes are reported.

Why? Victims feel they won't be believed, and that nothing would be done anyway. Victims felt abandonment and devastation.

The RCMP wants to change this so that victims can feel they can come forward and get the help they need.

Companies in all industries need to take this ever growing concern very seriously. They need to start making changes with their own cultures.

Victims need to feel safe coming forward confidently (and anonymously). And companies need to immediately start an investigation while keeping an anonymous dialogue open with the victim letting them know their concern is not going to be ignored, or brushed under the rug.

If industries, and companies, step up to the plate, give employees the tools they need to speak up, and start to take allegations of abuse, assault, and harassment seriously, we will start to see a shift in a victim's uncertainty to come forward.

Change happens when we all work together.

Learn more about how your company can take the first step in promoting a speak up culture by implementing a third party reporting program.

Contact us and let's have a chat!


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