By Adrienne O'Neil
Senior Research Fellow & Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellow, University of Melbourne
Thanks to the worldwide #metoo and #TimesUp movements, and criminal charges against high profile celebrities, sexual assault and harassment in the workplace and beyond has been at the forefront of public discussion over the past year.
In Australia, one in five workers over 15 years of age has experienced workplace sexual harassment over the past five years. One quarter are women and one in six are men. Regardless of the gender of the target, perpetrators are most commonly men. A national inquiry was launched last week to investigate the issue of sexual harassment at work.
But while workplace sexual harassment is often considered an organisational, criminal and ethical issue, it’s rarely considered a public health issue. This is despite 65% of the Australian population participating in the workforce in some capacity. In this week’s edition of The Lancet, my colleagues and I discuss why this needs to change.