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LIV Sexual Harassment Resources

The LIV is committed to providing legal professionals with access to information and resources, with the aim of eliminating sexual harassment in the profession.

The LIV has compiled a list of tailored resources, for the following targeted audiences/needs:

1. Victims of sexual misconduct in the workplace
If you have experienced or suspect that you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.

2. Bystanders
If you have witnessed or suspect that you have witnessed someone being sexually harassed at the workplace.

3. Managers/supervisors
If you work in a position with managerial or supervisory duties and are seeking assistance in addressing sexual harassment in the workplace.

4. Alleged perpetrators of sexual harassment
If you are the alleged perpetrator of sexual harassment in the workplace.

5. Mental health and wellbeing
For information on where to access mental health and wellbeing resources.

1. Victims of sexual misconduct in the workplace.

Available resources
Explanation
Link/contact details
Complaint forms
The Australian Human Rights Commission, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, Victorian Bar, and Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner have online complaint forms and confidential hotlines to report sexual harassment in the legal profession.
See ‘complaint forms’ here
Access EAP
Access EAP offers a 24/7 support and counselling service for LIV members. LIV members have free access to a diverse range of private and confidential advice – face-to-face, over the phone or online. LIV members can access this service free of charge for up to three hours per issue per year.

To access the service, call 1800 818 728. You can arrange to speak with a consultant over the phone, online or meet face-to-face. 

You can also book online, using the AccessEAP's Booking Page. 

For more information, click here.

Accessing urgent support
If you are experiencing sexual harassment, there are a number of services available to support you.
If you feel unsafe right now or need immediate support (available 24/7):

  • - Call Victoria Police on 000
  • - Call Lifeline on 13 11 14
  • - Call 1800RESPECT (national sexual assault hotline) on 1800 737 732
  • - Call the Sexual Assault Crisis Line on 1800 806 292
  • - Attend the Royal Women’s Hospital 24-hour crisis unit for victims of sexual assault
  • - Speak to your local GP

A list of other sexual assault support services can also be found here.
Fair Work Commission
The Commission is Australia’s national workplace relations tribunal. It is responsible for administering the provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth). The Commission hears claims as a tribunal and does not investigate. You can lodge a claim relating to workplace bullying, general protections matters that may relate to discrimination, or unfair dismissal.
You can contact the Commission on 1300 799 675 or find out more online here.
LIV Find Your Lawyer Referral Service
The LIV Find Your Lawyer Referral Service is only available to member firms where all lawyers within the firm hold a current LIV membership. Member firms agree to provide a complimentary 30 minute, no obligation, initial inquiry interview to a client who presents a referral letter.
T: 03 9607 9550 E: referrals@liv.asn.au
Union
'We are union' provides a list of worker's unions that will also be able to help provide advice in relation to your workplace’s obligations for a safe working environment
Victorian unions list can be found here.
Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission
VEOHRC assist with resolving complaints of sexual assault through a free dispute resolution survive. The organisation also has an online Sexual Harassment support and response tool.
The tool can be accessed here. VEOHRC can be contacted by calling 1300 292 153 and a complaint can be lodged here.
Australian Human Rights Commission
The Australian Human Rights Commission has the power to investigate allegations of sexual assault as a breach of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).
A complaint can be lodged here or by calling 1300 656 419
WorkSafe Victoria
If you do not feel comfortable reporting through your workplace reporting system, WorkSafe offers an advisory service.
The contact details for an advisor can be found here.

2. Bystanders

Available resources
Explanation
Link/contact details
Australian Human Rights Commission – Sexual Harassment from the Perspective of Bystanders
AHRC provides information on sexual harassment from the perspective of bystanders, including information on what action bystanders can take to contribute to towards preventing sexual harassment and the long-term impacts it may have on bystanders.
Australian Human Rights Commission – Bystander Approaches to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
AHRC outlines strategies that can be utilised by the bystander via education and training regarding action that may be taken after an incident has occurred.
Bystander Fact Sheet – ‘Taking Bystander action against sexual harassment in the workplace’
Explains who bystanders are and how bystanders take action on workplace sexual harassment
Know the Line
Know the Line shares Bystander Stories (via video and audio) who took bystander action

3. Managers/Supervisors

Available resources
Explanation
Link/contact details
LIV Charter + Guidelines for the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession

The LIV has adopted the NSW Law Society’s Charter for the Advancement of Women in the Legal Profession and its accompanying Guidelines.

 

The LIV encourages all Victorian legal and justice workplaces, to sign up to the Charter.

 

The LIV Charter prompts signatories to establish procedurally fair and transparent sexual discrimination and harassment complaints processes, among other commitments. 

 

The LIV Charter aims to promote and support strategies to retain women from all backgrounds in the profession over the course of their careers, including women with disability, and encourage their progression into senior executive and management positions.

LIV Sexual Harassment Framework Policy & Model Template
The LIV Sexual Harassment Policy Framework acts as a framework for the Victorian legal profession.

The LIV Sexual Harassment Model Policy is a one-page template policy which legal workplaces can adapt.
LIV Sexual Harassment Framework Policy (PDF)

LIV Sexual Harassment Model Template (Note: This link will automatically download the Word (.doc) template and save it in your Downloads folder.)
VEOHRC Guideline: Preventing and Responding to Workplace Harassment
The VEOHRC has updated its sexual harassment guideline (dated August 2021) that provides six minimum standards that employers must meet to comply with their positive duty to eliminate sexual harassment. The guideline will apply to diverse workplace settings and across a range of sectors and industries.

The complete Guideline: Preventing and responding to workplace sexual harassment can be accessed here.

Preventing and responding to workplace sexual harassment: A quick guide for employers is a companion to the complete guideline,and can be accessed here.

A-Z of discrimination law - Quick Guide
The AHRC provides for the various forms of harassment that can occur in the workplace. Specifically, there is a section for sexual harassment that provides the definition of sexual harassment, a list of examples of sexual harassment and an employer’s responsibility to prevent sexual harassment.
Social Media guide
The AHRC provides guidelines regarding social media posting and how inappropriate posts, comments or content can amount to sexual harassment. It also provides examples and opportunities for education and awareness.
Policy template
The AHRC provides a template document to structure and develop a workplace sexual harassment policy. It includes the relevant legislation, instructions and the option to add/remove topics and accommodate to business need. This is paramount because an employer can be held liable for a person’s behaviour.
The importance of policies
The AHRC outlines the importance of workplace policies and what a policy should communicate to employees.
WorkLogic
WorkLogic provides the following services: • investigates workplace complaints; • mediate disputes; • facilitate difficult discussions; • review critical incidents; • employment policies; • design and implement compliance programs; • conduct internal audits of workplace culture and people metrics; and • deliver engaging workshops.
Dating in the workplace
The AHRC discusses workplace relationships and the difference between consensual/non-consensual practice.
‘Know The Line’
Know The Line is a national awareness raising strategy in a tripartite partnership between the Australian Human Rights Commission, the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It’s boundaries in the workplace has 3 key points: SEE, TALK & SUPPORT. Know The Line provides research and prevalence of non-reporting and information for employees and employers.
Displays and publications
The AHRC provides a link of ‘work-friendly’ printouts that can be ordered for displays up in common areas of the workplace such as break rooms, hallways or bathrooms.
Our Watch – Workplace Equality and Respect - Resources for small, medium and large employers
Our Watch provides information to ensure employers are well versed and are meeting its legal obligations under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth). It includes practical guidance on how to prevent and how to respond to matters of this nature.
Safe Work Australia – Workplace Sexual Harassment
Safe Work Australia provides an overview, guides, reports, case studies and educational tools such as videos, seminars and podcasts for employers. Employers may utilise this resource for workplace training and seminars.
Safe Work Australia preventing workplace sexual harassment – guidance for small business
This information sheet provides simple, clear and practical guidance to support small businesses meet their work health and safety WHS duties to manage health and safety risks from sexual harassment.
Safe Work Australia- Preventing workplace sexual harassment guide
A guide that provides information for businesses to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in the workplace. It is intended to support businesses and managers to meet their statutory duties to eliminate and minimise health and safety risks so far as is reasonably practicable. The guide steps through when, how and why sexual harassment might happen in the workplace and outlines practical measures for businesses to prevent sexual harassment and respond appropriately if a complaint arises.
Safe Work Australia - ‘A Work-related psychological health and safety: A systematic approach to meeting your duties’ guide
A step-by-step guide for businesses to help them prevent and manage psychological harm to employees.
Comcare’s ‘Practical Guidance for Employers’ guide - ‘Workplace Sexual Harassment – Never part of the job’.
This resource provides basic statistical information in relation to the occurrence of workplace sexual harassment and summarises the obligations of employers under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (“WHSA”). It also sets out the potential impacts of sexual harassment on alleged victims, and outlines classes of people who may be particularly vulnerable to perpetrators. The resource provides a definition based on what is in the WHSA and gives several examples of behaviour which may constitute “sexual harassment” within the workplace. Lastly, it gives directions on how employers can work to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace and how to implement a workplace policy addressing the issue. Notably, it outlines what steps employers should take if an employee reports sexual harassment and lists several resources for employers to obtain further information and/or guidance.
Time’s Up Now
A video about workplace sexual harassment narrated by Donald Glover and Rashida Jones. Produced by Blue Seat Studios. Time’s Up Now is a movement committed to addressing sexual harassment in workplaces.
Spotlight on sexual harassment in the workplace
Women’s Health Victoria lists up-to-date and freely available resources for employers and employees to address sexual harassment in the workplace.
Diversity Australia Sexual Harassment Training
Diversity Australia provides sexual harassment training to organisations. Organisations can choose a program to suit and book it online.
Workplace Express
Workplace Express provides articles and case summaries in relation to sexual harassment.

4. Alleged perpetrators of sexual harassment

Available resources
Explanation
Link/contact details
Australian Human Rights Commission - Definition of sexual harassment
This page canvasses what sexual harassment is defined as under the legislation. This is useful for alleged perpetrators to consider their behaviour in light of, to not only determine whether there is any wrongdoing for themselves, but also potentially identify any defences to their behaviour (if applicable).
Maurice Blackburn – ‘Being the respondent in a workplace investigation’
Maurice Blackburn provides guidance to an alleged perpetrator in understanding how they should approach a workplace investigation where a complaint has been made against them. Useful resource for alleged perpetrators on what to expect in the process, and the most appropriate way to behave throughout.
Synergy Workplace Investigations - Procedural fairness in workplace investigations
Synergy Workplace provides an overview of what procedural fairness is in the workplace, what happens if these obligations are not followed, and how employers should afford due process. This is useful for alleged perpetrators so that they understand how an investigation ought to be carried out, and to recognise when they are not being treated with fairness, impartiality and respect.
Fair Work Ombudsman - Making an unfair dismissal claim
The Fair Work Ombudsman provides a brief explanation of what is involved in establishing unfair dismissal, who bears the onus of proof, and how to make such a claim in easy-to-understand language. This resource is helpful for an alleged perpetrator who has been dismissed as a result of a complaint and has either not been afforded their rights in the investigation process or who feels there was otherwise not a valid basis for their termination.
Fair Work Commission - Unfair dismissals Benchbook
The Commission’s Benchbook provides additional explanations on every aspect of the unfair dismissal process (incl. case law, references to the sections of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), specific information on each element that must be proven for a satisfactory claim etc.). This is useful for alleged perpetrators to be aware of if they wish to look deeper into making such a claim, and better understanding what is expected of them, should they go ahead.
Professionals Australia - How workplace investigations work (Professionals Australia)
Professionals Australia advises on basic principles of workplace investigations, including articulating the difference between a representative and a support person, the basis of proof, and some ways to approach the interview process. This is helpful for alleged perpetrators as it provides an insight into how a workplace investigation may be carried out, and canvasses some of the rights which an alleged perpetrator has in this process.
Workplaceinfo - Explanation of “balance of probabilities”
Workplacceinfo details what the evidentiary burden of “balance of probabilities” is in a succinct and easy to understand way. This may be useful for alleged perpetrators so that they understand what level of evidence an employer would require to justify dismissal.
Professionals Australia / FWC Benchbook - Support person at disciplinary meetings
These resources discuss the role of a support person (vs a representative) and what they can and can’t do during a disciplinary meeting, and the employer’s obligations in relation to permitting support persons. These are both useful resources for alleged perpetrators so that they understand what an employer is able and unable to permit, and what their rights are to request.

5. Mental Health and Wellbeing

Available resources
Explanation
Link/contact details
Emergency
If you are in an emergency or in immediate danger call triple zero for emergency services
000
Lifeline
Lifeline is a 24-hour Australia-wide crisis support and suicide prevention service
NURSE-ON-CALL
Contact NURSE-ON-CALL for expert health advice from a registered nurse. This is a free 24 hours a day service.
Call 1300 60 60 24
Access EAP
Access EAP offers a 24/7 support and counselling service for LIV members. LIV members have free access to a diverse range of private and confidential advice – face-to-face, over the phone or online. LIV members can access this service free of charge for up to three hours per issue per year.
To access the service, call 1800 818 728. You can arrange to speak with a consultant over the phone, online or meet face-to-face.

You can also book online, using the AccessEAP's Booking Page.

For more information, click here.
Phoenix Australia
Phoenix Australia are experts in trauma-related mental health and wellbeing. It is Australia’s National Centre of Excellent in Post-traumatic Mental Health. It provides individuals, families and communities advice, information, self-help tools and support.
Suicide Call Back Service
Suicide Call Back Service is a free service for people having suicidal thoughts, family or friends affected by suicide and healthcare professionals treating suicidal people.
Call 1300 659 467 or go the website for online chat https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au
SANE Australia Helpline
You may call SANE Australia Helpline for information about mental illness, treatments and support.
1800 18 7263 https://www.sane.org
Beyond Blue
Beyond Blue provides telephone support, information and resources for people dealing with depression or anxiety.
Good Therapy Directory
Seeing a mental health counsellor, psychologist or psychotherapist can assist in times of stress, sadness or trauma related events. Anyone struggling with mental health issues can seek counselling. To find a psychologist, psychotherapist or counsellor in your area use Good Therapy Directory
Headspace
Headspace provides information, support and services for young people ages 12 - 25, and their families and friends across Australia. Headspace would be specifically targeted for Young Lawyers. Telephone: 10pm to 1am Online counselling: 1pm to 1am
Support Groups
List of diverse support groups for professionals, those living with mental illness, families of those living with mental illness, related organisations concerned with mental health and members of the public with an interest in mental health
Health Direct
List of Organisations for victims of sexual assault and sexual abuse
1800 Respect
24/7 phone service for confidential information, counselling and support on sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse. You can chat online and find services in your area.
Call 1800 737 732
Sexual Assault Crisis Line
Sexual Assault Crisis Line is a proactive leader in supporting, advocating and providing a crisis response for people who have experience sexual past and recent violence. It provides afterhours telephone crisis counselling support, information, advocacy and referral to anyone living in Victoria who hs experience any form of sexual assault at any point in their lives.
Call 1800 806 292 (free call) www.sacl.com.au
Reach Out.Com
Reach Out.Com provides information specific to Sexual Assault and support services.
Victorian Women’s Health Services
VWHS provides services, resources and deliver training, as well as share evidence to influence and shape policy. It is committed to improving the social, emotional and physical health and wellbeing of woman throughout their lives.
CASA Forum
CASA Forum lists Victorian Centres Against Sexual Assault.
Better Health - Stigma, discrimination and mental illness
Information guide on stigma, discrimination and mental illness, including harmful effects fo stigma, dealing with stigma, discrimination and challenging stigma associated to mental illness.
Headspace - Tips for keeping good mental health
An article by Headspace for good mental health and wellbeing which allows you to live your life in a positive and meaningful way and copy with life’s changes and challenges.
Headspace - The impact of trauma and mental health
An Article by Headspace for people who have experienced trauma, including complex trauma and single incident trauma.
Beyond Blue – Wellbeing
Beyond Blue suggest activities, guidance and inspiration to help find balance in all areas of your life while navigating the ups and downs.
Beyond Blue – How to support a colleague with depression
Beyond Blue recommends how to be support when a work colleague is going a difficult time.
Black Dog Institute – Wellbeing
Black Dog Institute provide expert guidance on wellbeing as a way of improving our lives – staying resilient, building social support and coping with adversity.
Phoenix Australia – ‘Helping yourself after a traumatic event’ Factsheet
Phoenix Australia provides a factsheet on coping mechanisms after experiencing trauma, including sexual assault.
Phoenix Australia – ‘Dealing with Trauma’ A Guide for Young People who have Experienced Trauma
Phoenix Australia outline examples of traumatic events, what happens after trauma, what is posttraumatic stress disorder, how to get help, tips for positive self-talk and quick relaxation exercises.
SANE Australia – Factsheets & Guides
SANE Australia provides easy-to-read factsheets and guides on complex mental health issues, including but not limited to, depression, traumatic events, dealing with crisis, mindfulness, practical self-care, employment and reducing stigma.