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5 Theme Three - Freedom from discrimination, harassment and violence: Listening Tour Report

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Listening Tour Report A report of the Listening Tour consultations in
2007-08

 

5 Theme Three - Freedom from
discrimination, harassment and violence


5.1 What is this chapter about?

I believe sexual harassment in the workplace is still very prevalent but its victims
remain silent. Most women have experienced some form of harassment in their jobs.
However most women will refuse to report it or speak out against their bosses for fear
of retribution. I have just been through [six] years of trying to seek some justice in
my male dominated place of work. The sexual harassment that I was subjected to was
nothing compared to the victimisation that took place after I rejected my boss and
eventually complained about him to higher management. Whereas I had hoped to stop this
happening to someone else, I have served as an example to others that if you speak out
you will be persecuted. My harasser and victimisers are part of a powerful system. In
their view, I should've been a good woman and put up with it.
341

The right to feel safe in our workplaces, educational institutions, public places
and homes is a basic human right enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 342 and Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination against Women. 343 However, women continue to
experience discrimination, harassment and violence as an everyday reality. Ending
discrimination, harassment and violence against women is critical for women to be able
to equally contribute to and benefit from economic, social, cultural and political
life.

Sex discrimination and sexual harassment overwhelmingly affect women more than men.
There were 472 complaints made to HREOC under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) in the 2006-07 financial year. Of these complaints, 87 per cent came from women. 344 A telephone poll commissioned by HREOC in 2003 found that
41 per cent of women have experienced sexual harassment and 28 per cent of women
experienced it in the workplace. 345 The research also found
that 70 per cent of all sexual harassment involved men sexually harassing women.

Discrimination and harassment are part of a continuum of gender related violence.
Australian research has found that nearly one in five women has experienced sexual
violence since the age of fifteen. 346 An international study
found that around one in three Australian women have experienced violence from an
intimate partner in their lifetime. 347 Domestic violence is a
significant cost to the economy with Australian businesses losing at least $500 million
per year because of the effects of family violence on their employees. 348

Under this theme, the Commissioner sought to understand the nature and complexities
of women's experiences of discrimination, sexual harassment and gender related
violence. What does sexual harassment and sex discrimination look like in our
workplaces? Do people feel confident to complain? Do women feel they can live a life
free of the fear of violence? And finally, how can women be supported to feel safe in
their workplace, homes and communities?

This chapter contains a summary of the key issues raised during Listening Tour under
the theme of Freedom from Discrimination, Harassment and Violence.

The report is structured as follows:

What we heard: This section is a summary of the key points made
under each sub-issue, illuminated by personal stories and opinions.

Research and literature: This section summarises research that is
relevant to each sub-issue. It should be noted the research included in the report is
not an exhaustive literature review, but a summary of the research that was presented
to the Commissioner during the Listening Tour.

Policy and project ideas: Listening Tour participants provided
their ideas to the Commissioner on what could be done to address the various issues
under this theme. Some suggestions are for the Commissioner and HREOC to consider and
others are for government or other relevant bodies, but which HREOC could potentially
support.

5.2 Sex Discrimination

5.2.1 What we heard

The continuing impact of sex discrimination as an everyday reality for women was
raised repeatedly with the Commissioner during the Listening Tour. Participants spoke
of their experiences of discrimination upon returning to work after pregnancy, the dual
impact of sex discrimination and WorkChoices, the particular disadvantage faced by
disparate groups of women and the limitations of the anti-discrimination complaints
process and legislation.

Sex discrimination remains a harsh reality of women's lives despite 24 years
of legislation to redress it

Many Listening Tour participants brought our attention to the gendered assumptions,
attitudes, stereotypes and discrimination that permeate women's lives, particularly in
workplace settings.

One woman spoke of her battle to gain a promotion in a male-dominated industry:

I was overlooked for a position which I knew I had the skills and experience for.
When I asked about it, management said, "That would never happen - she is a female". I
asked Human Resources what avenues I had and they said, "If you want to keep working
there you should keep your mouth shut".

A participant at the Hobart community consultation described the experience of her
daughter-in-law, highlighting the powerlessness that many women feel:

I have a daughter-in-law who works for a call centre. She fell pregnant and had a
baby, at this time her boss said that if she wanted to come back she could. After six
months, he gave her a hard time and said she had to work full time if she wanted to
work. He did this because he thought women should be in the home. She ended up leaving.
She knew it was discrimination but he is the boss. 350

Another woman reported her experience of workplace discrimination on the grounds of
potential pregnancy:

I've had a comment about me that I shouldn't be given a permanent job because I may
have a baby soon. I'm not even pregnant. 351

In a recent case study analysis conducted by the Women's Employment Rights Project
at the Inner City Legal Centre NSW, out of 224 case studies, 60 women indentified
pregnancy and return to work discrimination as the reason for their dismissal. 352 This accords with HREOC's own complaints data, which show that
pregnancy discrimination and return to work issues are two of the most common
complaints under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth). 353 A
number of women's legal services reported that WorkChoices has led to a rise in the
number of women needing to access the family responsibilities provisions of the Sex
Discrimination Act 1984
(Cth). 354

One women's service provider emphasised the vulnerability of women returning to work
after pregnancy. They reported that it is often a peak time for bullying, with
colleagues resenting their return to work. 355

One male attendee at the Darwin community consultation brought attention to the fact
that many women are unaware of their rights in relation to discrimination at work:

I knew a woman who had three kids. She came back into the workforce after maternity
leave after having a baby twice. She went back into the same job, but after the third
maternity leave period she wasn't given the same job back. I had trouble convincing her
it was sex discrimination. If women aren't aware of it or aware of the legislation, it
is hard to protect women. 356

One organisation also raised the issue of discrimination against men in women-
oriented services such as child, maternal and family services. Dads on Air argued that
these services see parents only as a mothers which results in discrimination against
fathers. 357

Disparate groups of women experience particular discrimination and
disadvantage

Listening Tour participants commented on the intersectional discrimination that
disparate groups of women experience. The experiences of Indigenous, migrant and
refugee women highlight a complex interplay of discrimination based on race and gender
resulting in significant disadvantage in a range of settings.

One Indigenous woman told the Commissioner of her frustrations in trying to find
paid work:

I want to work and do something with my life. After doing a coffee course, I sent
out my resume to 50 cafes. I only got one response. It's even worse if I mention that
I'm a mother. Stereotypes stop [Indigenous people] from getting jobs. Even when places
get subsidies for hiring Indigenous people they still don't [hire them]. All businesses
should get cross cultural training. 358

A focus group participant who works with young women from refugee backgrounds
recounted their difficulties in finding work and the impact on their self esteem and
confidence:

I just think in terms of how racism ties with sex discrimination. The young women I
work with are mainly from refugee backgrounds, so most of them are thirteen, fourteen
[or] fifteen...They get bullied a lot because of how they look, their
colour, or just because of their clothes. For them everything is rolled into one. And
when you're in a new place...but you're not accepted, or you're too
distinguishable, this hits their self confidence really hard. When you're being told
you're inferior because of your colour, why would you like to talk about that? For them
it's a massive problem, and they don't have anywhere to turn to or anybody to talk to.
They're new in Australia. They barely know how to get from one place to the other, let
alone who you do and don't talk to. There is emotional trauma that comes about. 359

The Muslim Women's Association reported that Muslim women also experience
particularly high levels of discrimination in employment if they wear a hijab. The
Commissioner heard one example where a male employer asked a Muslim woman to take off
her hijab. In the end she took the hijab off because she was scared of losing her job.
The lack of awareness of workplace rights was noted as a significant problem for
migrant women. 360

A focus group participant of African background told us of her experience of racial
discrimination because she wore a headscarf:

One of my daughters was going for a job and she kept going for a job and she didn't
get the jobs because she was wearing her head scarf. Finally, she took the head scarf
off, and she got [one]. I would rather her not have the job, and wear the head scarf.
Another [time] my sister and I went for [a] job, I didn't wear a head scarf, and my
sister did, but had better qualifications. But I got the job, and she didn't. I know it
was because she was wearing her head scarf. 361

One participant in a focus group of female factory workers from Asian backgrounds
told the Commissioner that her employer complains that she is talking too loudly if she
speaks in Chinese. Women in this focus group also relayed their experiences of physical
harassment such as managers grabbing arms and pulling. They said that in their
workplaces, Chinese women are particularly vulnerable and targeted. Many are scared to
complain in case they lose their jobs. 362

A service provider at the Darwin community consultation who works closely with
refugee and migrant women suggested that the low levels of reporting of discrimination
amongst this group could be because many women have come from an environment where
there is a fear of government agencies and a low level of trust in statutory bodies. 363

There are limitations with the current legislation and complaints process in
delivering long term systemic change

Some participants raised their concerns about the capacity of the current complaints
process and discrimination legislation to deliver long term systemic change. 364 Participants raised the issue of the accessibility of the
complaints process, given the cost to individuals if the complaint proceeds to the
Federal Court. One woman's service organisation suggested that very few people will go
beyond the conciliation process because of this cost barrier.
365

A union official attending the Sydney community consultation said that she would
like to see a class arbitration process introduced to provide a more remedial and
collective response, because it is rare to see a systemic outcome arising from an
individual case. 366 This point was reinforced by a community
legal centre representative who said that a system which relies on affected individuals
to enforce remedies is unfair, and commented that "[i]t's a big ask of individuals to
hold the responsibility of making a complaint". 367 The
National Women's Secretariats meeting in Canberra also raised this issue with the
Commissioner. 368

One participant suggested that an aspirational or positive rewards system, in
addition to the compliance system could encourage positive systemic changes. 369 At the NSW Women's Peak Roundtable, a participant said that it was
essential "to get people back to the idea that these are structural, rather than
individual problems". 370

On the issue of the new Victorian Charter for Human Rights, one participant
commented that it undermined the application of the Convention on the Elimination of
Discrimination Against Women because of its strong focus on the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights. There was a concern that a National Charter of Human
Rights would also fail to deliver systemic equality and justice for women. 371

5.2.2 Research and literature

The following research projects were brought to the attention of the Commissioner
during the Listening Tour.

Analysis of current protection from sex discrimination

Belinda Smith from the University of Sydney has undertaken a regulatory analysis of
the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth), particularly exploring its weaknesses
in respect of family responsibilities discrimination. Smith recommends an enhanced role
for HREOC in supporting claimants, using an expanded array of remedies that could more
effectively deter discrimination and prompt good behaviour. Such a regulatory role for
HREOC is more akin to the role of the United Kingdom anti-discrimination commissions.
She highlights the limitations of the process which requires victims to enforce the
legislation, and the private process of individual conciliation with compensatory
remedies instead of punitive or corrective orders. 372

Women in medicine

The Australian Federation of Medical Women has published a paper to examine the
current status of women in medicine. The paper outlines the discriminatory practices
that exist as barriers in the profession to prevent women's equal participation. These
include the male defined structures and institutions of medicine, the hours of work as
well as overt sexism. The paper recommends gender competent policy development in the
profession as a way to overcome these barriers. 373

5.2.3 Policy and project ideas

The following policy and project ideas were suggested by participants in the
Listening Tour.

  1. Legislative protections against discrimination on the basis of family
    responsibilities should be strengthened. 374
  2. There should be a public education campaign focusing on employer responsibilities
    to prevent workplace sex discrimination. 375
  3. There should be a national discrimination awareness package that encompasses all
    forms and types of discrimination. It should be compulsory in all workplaces. 376
  4. There should be a sex discrimination audit of all legislation similar to the
    same-sex inquiry conducted by HREOC. 377
  5. The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986 (Cth) should
    be reformed to simplify the process and minimise the costs to individuals of
    following through a complaint. 378
  6. There should be widespread education and enforcement around sex discrimination to
    change perceptions and attitudes at a systemic level.
    379
  7. There should be an enforced 'gender equality' impact statement on all legislation
    coming before federal Parliament as part of cabinet processes.
    380
  8. There should be counselling available for people who come through the complaints
    process in HREOC or state anti-discrimination commission.
    381
  9. Consideration should be given to 'naming and shaming' those employers that do not
    comply with legislation and do not implement equal opportunity principles. Similarly,
    anyone who is proactive in addressing discrimination should be credited and publicly
    acknowledged. 382
  10. There should be coherent reform to the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth)
    in conjunction with the introduction of any national charter of rights. 383
  11. The powers of the Sex Discrimination Commissioner should be increased to include
    an intervention function; gender equality duty; spot auditing function and
    independent monitoring and benchmarking of gender equality.
    384

5.3 Sexual harassment

5.3.1 What we heard

One of the key findings of the Listening Tour is the all-pervading nature of sexual
harassment. The Commissioner heard about sexual harassment across every state, industry
and workplace that she visited. The main issues raised included: the victimisation of
the person experiencing sexual harassment if they make a complaint; the lack of
understanding around sexual harassment; the particular vulnerability of young women to
sexual harassment; the increasing use of new technologies as tools for sexual
harassment; and the culture of disrespect towards women which encourages sexual
harassment.

Sexual harassment is alive across all employment levels and
industries

Sexual harassment was raised consistently throughout the Tour in community
consultations, focus groups and on the Listening Tour blog. One young woman working in
the cleaning industry shared her experience of sexual harassment from her manager:

We were playing [and] mucking around. I knew he liked me. I didn't like him back. He
made physical sexual advances and I had to fight him off. He was the boss. It was my
word against his [so] I didn't raise it with the employer.
385

Another female focus group participant shared with the Commissioner her comments on
the constant self surveillance that women become accustomed to:

You wear a sack to not show yourself off, you talk to the safe people who you know [at
work]. You are constantly thinking about your gender. 386

In some male dominated industries sexual harassment is normalised. One woman
commented on her experience of sexual harassment where she lives in close quarters to
her male colleagues:

I've been living [in these work quarters] for three years and I've had knocks on my
door at night with guys saying, "Guess you're feeling a bit lonely, love?" It shouldn't
happen. I've been sitting with a group of males and one will ask, "Don't you think it's
my turn [for sex] tonight?" 387

A union official said that WorkChoices may have contributed to an increase in sexual
harassment and confusion about rights and responsibilities:

We hear that WorkChoices plays a role in sexual harassment cases. The employer has
more power, employees feel that they cannot go to their supervisor as they will say go
find a job elsewhere. It's put up or shut up. This attitude has returned. 388

There was a feeling that sexual harassment was almost impossible to eradicate. On
this point, one woman recounted her experience of hearing her colleague talk about a
woman in a degrading manner:

I don't think there's any organisation that's ever going to be able to put their
hand on their heart and say, "We are free of sexual harassment in the workplace". I was
absolutely astounded a few weeks ago now. I was having a cup of coffee with a colleague
and one of them had actually participated in a selection panel recently and I literally
spat my coffee out because they were talking about one of the females that they had
interviewed. This guy just turned around and said, "And she had the best set of tits". 389

A similar sentiment highlighting the pervasive and persistent nature of sexual
harassment was expressed by a contributor to the blog:

I was recently sexually harassed by the boss at a work function and the company have
since tried to sweep everything under the carpet. I have been left feeling very
vulnerable and anxious. Whilst also feeling isolated by the management and workers. I
am not feeling as confident with HREOC at the moment as the process [of making a
complaint] can take up to 8 weeks and I feel I am being forced to hand in my
resignation. This is 2008 when will it be an "equal" society for women, when will it be
finally stamped out. 390

There was also a silence and reluctance to talk about sexual harassment amongst
employers with one stating that the usual attitude was "everyone else's but ours". 391

Participants felt that small businesses needed to be a target for education because
they are unlikely to be familiar with the legislation and their obligations as
employers compared to large corporations and government agencies. One woman suggested
that workers in small businesses were likely to be the "main perpetrators" of sexual
harassment. 392

Young women in their in early employment are especially vulnerable to sexual
harassment

Young women reported feeling particularly vulnerable to sexual harassment in their
first jobs, especially if they were employed on a casual basis with minimal job
security. One young woman described the sexual harassment experienced by her peers as
"very extreme" verging on being "assaulted". When asked what form this sexual
harassment took, she said that it can be "comments, emails, text messages, constantly
being asked out or pornographic material displayed". 393

One focus group participant told the Commissioner that she was asked to wear a
transparent uniform in the supermarket where she worked:

They changed the uniform, and it was literally see-through. You could tell it was
see-through, but all the girls had to wear it. In winter I'd wear a skivvy underneath
it [and] get told to take [the skivvy] off...You're there in a
see-through top and lacy bra scanning things. We complained about it, and we were told
to take off the singlets underneath. All the men were older, and all the girls were
between 15 and 18. When nothing came of the complaints I just wore the top. 394

One young woman said that the messages condemning sexual harassment need to be
clearer. She said that many young women do not understand where the line should be
drawn:

You know that it's not okay to be touched by your dad or your uncle, but it's not
okay to be touched by your boss either. 395

A social worker who works with young women reported that young women's acceptance of
violence and harassment is disturbing and is seen as "just what happens sometimes". 396 Another participant at the Melbourne consultation told the
Commissioner that schools are rife with sexual harassment and it is not addressed
effectively. 397

The particular vulnerability of young women does not mean that women of all ages do
not experience sexual harassment. One participant in Brisbane recounted her experience
of sexual harassment at the age of 43:

I'm 47 and 4 years ago my boss asked me if I was wearing a g-string. It was in front
of everyone. I gave him a mouth full. I was of the opinion that once you reach a
certain age the risk is lower but it still happens. 398

Victims of sexual harassment justifiably fear victimisation if they
complain

The idea that a sexual harassment complaint could be resolved positively with no
detriment to the complainant was viewed as a "fairy tale", with one participant telling
us that "anyone who complains [about sexual harassment] ends up [being seen] as the
perpetrator rather than victim". 399

One female focus group participant echoed this comment when reflecting on her
experience of sexual harassment, stating her belief that if she had complained:

I would not have been a victim of the incident; I would have become a victim of
[the] repercussions of bringing the incident to attention.
400

Other women referred to the idea of bringing a sexual harassment complaint forward
as "career death", fearing that the stigma would impede future promotions and career
progression. 401 One woman said that bringing a complaint
forward would mean being known to be a "bit unhinged" for the rest of her career. 402

Another participant commented on the blame placed on women for making a complaint:
"You end up being made to feel you're the guilty party."
403

A common outcome for many victims of sexual harassment is leaving their workplace or
even changing career paths if they are working in a small industry.
404 An employer argued that most women will attempt to deal with sexual
harassment informally or leave the workplace because of this fear of victimisation:

It absolutely still is an issue and people have a fear of making a complaint because
it is a career killer. You try and deal with it informally or you just get out. 405

One service provider raised concerns that there are no processes for rehabilitation
for victims to go through to reintegrate into the workplace. Internal grievance
procedures were labelled as "inconsistent and insensitive" from the victim's
perspective. Participants also noted the fact that victims may have to sign
confidentiality agreements which may prohibit them from speaking about their experience
is also disempowering and unjust. This is of particular concern if victims are not
advised of the consequences of signing these agreements.
406

One participant raised her dissatisfaction about the onus being on the victim to
stop sexual harassment from happening. Commonly victims are made to feel that they
don't know how to take a joke. One woman said that perpetrators will say that women
have "no right to feel upset". 407 Another woman said that male
colleagues will suggest that she has her period if she questions sexual harassment with
comments such as: "What, have you got your rags on this week, love?" 408

There is a general lack of understanding around sexual
harassment

There was a general lack of understanding about what constitutes sexual harassment
and when the line is crossed between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.

One man argued that showing pornographic images on phones doesn't constitute sexual
harassment because everyone does not have to look at it:

There are always guys showing each other stuff in [their]
phones...[It] happens all the time at lunch and at smokos. [It]
doesn't affect anyone...[I]f you don't want to look at it, don't look
at it. The phone is more discreet than women on the wall.
409

There was a tendency for men to minimise experiences of sexual harassment. One man
explained that although he didn't see "serious" sexual harassment, inappropriate emails
were common:

I don't see a lot of the serious [harassment]... the extreme end of
it... it's more often than not ...inappropriate
emails or the pictures and so on that will float around the office from time to time. 410

Another male focus group participant commented on the difficulty in knowing when the
line was crossed between work and social events:

There's a bit of problem with the social aspect of [our] work which is based on
personal and client relationships. [The o]verall philosophy of the [work] place is
personal relationships. Women are also more forward these days. There is a grey area
when you spend a lot of time together. Where do you overstep the mark when something is
okay but then something is not, particularly at work social events?
411

Some employers also commented that the connection of a social event with employment
is often difficult to assess. There is confusion about where the employer's liability
to protect staff from sexual harassment ends. 412

There was a concern raised about the quality and consistency of training around
sexual harassment. Many organisations offer 'online training' about sexual harassment
but this is not refreshed on a regular basis. 413

New technologies are adding a new dimension to sexual harassment

Listening Tour participants reported on the use of technologies, such as mobile
phones, PDAs, social networking sites and internet chat rooms, by perpetrators of
sexual harassment. 414 Schools were commonly the sites of
harassment for these technologies, with both students and female teachers being
targeted. 415

The Anti-Discrimination Commissioner of Tasmania reported that sexual harassment is
increasingly occurring through the use of mobile phones with fewer physical contact
cases being reported. 416

A culture of disrespect towards women normalises encourages sexual harassment

Some participants told us that the media portrayal of women and popular culture
contributes to a culture of disrespect towards women which provides tacit support of
sexual harassment. 417 One community consultation participant
said:

We have a culture here treating people with a lack of respect and this is encouraged
through TV, sport and parliament. These are powerful messages, and lead to sexual
harassment. We need to treat people with respect. How do we do this? 418

Another participant said that to address sexual harassment there needed to be a
change in the way women are portrayed in the media as sexual objects.
419

5.3.2 Research and literature

The following research project was brought to the attention of the Commissioner
during the Listening Tour.

Contemporary experiences of sexual harassment in Victoria

Taking it Seriously: Contemporary experiences of workplace sexual
harassment
is a survey and collation of the experiences of those who have been
sexually harassed in a Victorian workplace since 1999. The research included a survey,
interviews and case studies. The survey of 235 participants found that 197 (84 per
cent) reported either personally experiencing or witnessing unwanted or unwelcome
sexual behaviour in their workplace; 177 (75 per cent) reported that they had
personally experienced unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour in their workplace; 147
(63 per cent) reported that they had witnessed unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour
in their workplace; and 137 (58 per cent) of respondents had both personally
experienced and witnessed unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour in their workplace. 420

5.3.3 Policy and project ideas

The following policy and project ideas were suggested by participants in the
Listening Tour.

  1. The school curriculum should include specific components to increase awareness of
    rights and responsibilities in relation to sexual harassment.
    421
  2. Consideration should be given to using technology such as social networking sites
    to provide people with information about sexual harassment when they are looking for
    their first job. 422
  3. A reward and incentive system should be introduced to recognise employers who
    have effective sexual harassment policies and procedures. Incentives should be
    offered for sexual harassment training and the development of good practice, rather
    than just the absence of complaints. 423
  4. There should be compulsory education on sexual harassment when a small business
    is registered. 424
  5. There should be heavier regulation of sexual harassment with a more preventative
    approach. 425
  6. The definition of sexual harassment should be changed and modeled on the South
    Australian definition. 426
  7. Education should be provided for newly arrived migrants on sexual harassment. 427
  8. Role models who show leadership around sexual harassment should be given a highly
    visible public profile. 428
  9. Australia should take part in the Global Media Monitoring Project to examine the
    portrayal of women in the media. 429

5.4 Gender related violence

5.4.1. What we heard

The ability to live a life free from violence was reported as a significant concern
for women in the Listening Tour, particularly Indigenous women. In particular, women
told us that there were problems with access to emergency housing and other services
along with the impact of the recent changes to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).

The Commissioner also questioned employers about their response to domestic
violence. Generally, employers agreed that domestic violence impacted upon business,
but there was a lack of understanding around what the employer can do to support women
experiencing domestic violence.

Domestic and family violence impacts on women's economic
independence

Service providers who worked with women experiencing domestic violence made the
point that domestic and family violence has significant impacts on a woman's economic
independence. Domestic violence affects all aspects of life -
personal, social, and professional. Perpetrators may often control when women are
'allowed' in and out of the paid workforce. This affects a woman's self-esteem which
then further impacts upon a woman's capacity to gain employment after she leaves the
relationship. 430

One woman spoke of her experience of domestic violence and how it impacted on her
workplace abilities:

Domestic violence is an issue that is hard to discuss. There is an element of shame.
You are being violated but there is also love and loyalty attached to it. You think
everyone else is leading a normal life. It was difficult to communicate with my
colleagues. It affected me mentally and physically. 431

The impact of the new family law reforms, which require separating couples to attend
mediation sessions, on women experiencing violence was also raised. One service
provider reported that courts are sending back notices saying that mediation is not
appropriate for family violence situations. Participants suggested that these reforms
need to be reviewed to assess whether women and children are adequately protected from
violence. 432

One participant in the Perth consultation recounted her experience of child sexual
assault and then the poor response she received from government agencies which she
labelled, "institutionalised violence against children". She said that this experience
has impacted upon her ability to undertake paid employment and education throughout her
life. 433

The right to live free from violence is a chief concern for Indigenous
women, in both metropolitan and remote communities

Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Women's Corporation (Mudgin-Gal) reported to the Commissioner
that family violence is a major issue for Indigenous women in inner city Sydney. Many
of their clients are women who have left violence in regional and rural areas and moved
to the city, often entering into violent relationships again. The workers at Mudgin-Gal
identified housing as a priority issue for women leaving violent relationships. 434 One client of the service who recently left a 10 year
violent relationship said:

I have had big troubles with housing. [I have ended up] going to refuges [or]
staying with relatives and friends. How can you stay stable and provide good parenting
to your children without a roof over your head? I was made to feel like a mental case. 435

Another issue raised for Indigenous women was the child protection system treating
mothers who were experiencing domestic violence as "bad mothers". 436 A client of Mudgin-Gal who was experiencing domestic violence
remarked about her experience with the Department of Community Services in NSW
(DOCS):

When I have sought services [for domestic violence] I have been constantly
questioned as to whether DOCS was involved. I wanted to tell them that I'm not the
perpetrator here. 437

There were some positive developments in addressing family violence and sexual
assault in the local Redfern Indigenous community when a female commander headed the
local Police station. Women reported that it makes a positive difference when the
police officers are familiar with the community. Mudgin-Gal also has a strong
relationship with Redfern Legal Centre which is important for providing family violence
legal services in the community. 438 In Adelaide, one
Indigenous service provider reported that there was limited access to Family Violence
Legal Services for Indigenous women in South Australia. 439

In Mackay, Queensland, Indigenous women reported that there is only one women's
refuge and another one for families. They were concerned about the lack of culturally
appropriate services for Indigenous women as there is no specific Indigenous women's
refuge and the local women's domestic violence service has no Indigenous workers. 440

In Fitzroy Crossing, the township at the centre of four Indigenous language groups
in northern Western Australia, women named violence linked to alcohol abuse as a
primary concern. The main problems for women experiencing violence in this community
include: high levels of alcohol abuse in the community; a shortage in housing; the long
distance to travel to services; and minimal public transport. In 2007, the women in the
community lobbied for a ban on the sale of take away alcohol which has had a
considerable impact on the levels of violence, with police domestic violence reports
decreasing by 43 per cent.

One woman reported to the Commissioner that prior to the ban she was calling the
police up to three times a night because of alcohol related problems in her community.
Another woman told her about running into the bush at night with her children for
safety. Since the ban, many women reported that they now have a 'peaceful and quiet'
night's sleep and feel safer in their homes and communities. Workers at the women's
shelter also reported that the ban has reduced the severity of violence that they see
for the women coming to use the refuge. 441

There is a shortage of emergency accommodation for women experiencing
domestic violence

The shortage of emergency accommodation for women escaping domestic violence was
highlighted at a number of community consultations. One service provider in a
consultation in regional South Australia said that there is no emergency accommodation
at all, and that the service will often pay for a woman to stay in a hotel or caravan
park for a few nights in the case of an emergency. She said that many women and
children will move to Adelaide where there are better services, but it is unsustainable
in the long term because their family and social support systems are not there. 442

A Melbourne service provider said that women experiencing domestic violence had very
few housing options. She remarked that women who have previously left a violent
relationship and were homeless were put at further risk of violence by being homeless. 443

Employers have a role in responding to domestic violence

Some employers recognised domestic violence as a business issue but also identified
a gap in knowledge and skills to effectively address it. 444 One employer said, "We have the opinion that anything that impinges on your work
performance is our concern". 445 Most employers currently refer
staff to employee assistance or counselling programs if they are experiencing domestic
violence. 446

One male focus group participant shared his concerns about balancing his duty of
care as an employer with getting involved in a staff member's personal life:

.. [W]e have a duty of care over the person, which includes their personal life in
circumstances in how that impacts them and how that's going to impact them as a worker,
but how far do you take that... where do you get the language around domestic violence?
I probably will be referring them to other people. I'm not going to have the skills or
[desire] to get involved in their personal circumstances.
447

A Brisbane based organisation called the CEO Challenge is engaging with Chief
Executive Officers of organisations to position domestic violence as an issue for the
workplace. The program tells men and women (perpetrators and victims) where they can
access help if they are in the cycle of domestic violence. Also, it encourages
employers to give their staff time off for relationship counselling and financial
counselling. One Chief Executive Officer said he did not think there was domestic
violence amongst staff in his workplace but he reduced staff turnover by 20 per cent
when he introduced the program. 448

Men can be victims of violence too

Men's groups and advocates raised the point that men can be victims of violence too,
arguing that this has been an omission in public policy and programs relating to
domestic violence. 449

One contributor to the blog wrote about his experience of domestic violence and
expressed his disappointment in the limited availability of services for men:

Whilst I have no problem with women victims being highlighted, the discrimination
against including men and children victims needs urgent addressing. Services also need
to be extended to father and child victims of domestic violence. To give but one
example, I once had to flee with my two young children from their violent mother who
had violently assaulted both me and our two children. I sought emergency accommodation
and emotional assistance from several "women's shelters" only to be told that they were
women's initiatives designed for female clientele only. 450

In a submission to the Commissioner, some men's advocates wrote about the lack of
services for male victims of violence:

There are few services available for male victims of domestic violence and their
children. There is a critical lack of emergency housing; programs for violent female
partners; free [lawyers] to assist men with [Apprehended Violence Orders]; and training
for social workers or counsellors to help men who have been victims of violence. 451

Women with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to violence

Women with Disabilities Australia and the Victorian Women with Disabilities Network
highlighted the particular vulnerability of women with disabilities to violence.
Although there is limited Australian empirical research on the incidence of this
violence, Victorian Women with Disabilities Network cites a study suggested that up to
83 per cent of women with cognitive disabilities may experience sexual assault in their
lifetime. 452

Women with disability advocates point to a range of factors contributing to these
statistics including: systemic factors that increase the likelihood of women with
disabilities experiencing violence and prevent them from addressing it; the limited
availability of information for women with disabilities about violence; lack of
training for workers in responding to violence and the particular needs of women with
disabilities. 453

Migrant and refugee women need culturally appropriate services

Some refugee women reported to the Commissioner their need for culturally and
religiously appropriate services. They commented that the current system "forces" women
to go to a refuge, seek a violence order or get a divorce - all
options which are not culturally appropriate for them. The women reported there was a
dire need for culturally specific counselling services. 454

A community cultural development worker in Western Sydney noted that the African
women she works with have experienced extremely high levels of violence. Policy makers
and service providers need to be made aware of how racial discrimination and violence
interact with each other and impact on women. The community worker told the
Commissioner that the experiences of these women are often erased because they fall
between the gaps of race and gender. She added that often the racism experienced by
these women is gendered violence. The most pervasive examples of Islamophobia in the
last few years have been directed towards women, such as people pulling headscarves off
women in public spaces. 455

There is a silence in the community around sexual violence

A few participants brought the Commissioner's attention to the subject of sexual
violence as a serious human rights issue for women. Some pointed to the police and
court processes as a barrier to women seeking justice after a sexual assault. In an
email to the Commissioner one woman wrote of her concern about the court process:

My concerns are for those who have been sexually assaulted. Through my work I know
many women don't report and that of those who do only 1.6 [per cent] get a conviction.
We need our courts and prosecutors to take action to change this.
456

Another participant suggested that better service provision could assist women
through the court and police processes and asked the Commissioner to advocate for this. 457

The NSW Rape Crisis Centre said that a major problem was the lack of a consistent
national response to sexual assault. They recommended to the Commissioner that the
response to sexual assault needs to be nationalized with minimum standards for service
delivery across all areas. 458

The Australian Federation of University Women wrote to the Commissioner about the
experiences of women in prison. They reported many women in prison are likely to have
suffered sexual violence prior to entering prison. When in prison, these women may be
re-traumatised by the processes of cavity strip searching of women prisoners which is a
significant breach of human rights. 459

5.4.2 Research and literature

The following research projects were brought to the attention of the Commissioner
during the Listening Tour.

Domestic violence and women's employment

At the Adelaide Academic Roundtable Suzanne Franzway reported on her research with
Carole Zufferey and Donna Chung on the impact of domestic violence on women's
employment in South Australia. The research aims to: identify barriers and support for
women experiencing domestic violence whilst working or seeking employment; identify
policy and program responses of trade unions, women's services, health services,
employers, job networks and income support providers; and to identify program and
policy changes to improve the response to domestic violence in the workplace. 460

Refugee women, resettlement and violence

At the Sydney Violence against Women Research Roundtable the Centre for Refugee
Research at the University of New South Wales reported on their work with refugee women
and violence. The Centre has been undertaking a major project to examine how effective
resettlement programs are in keeping refugee women safe by following women through all
stages of resettlement. The research has found high levels of trauma, violence and
discrimination at all stages of the process. Another key finding is that for many women
the cycle of violence did not end once they arrived in Australia.
461

Domestic violence, homicide and self defence

Julie Stubbs from the University of Sydney provided information on her project
reviewing legal cases of women who have been tried for murder as a result of domestic
violence. The findings regarding indigenous women are particularly troubling, with a
significant number pleading guilty with no trial. Julie Stubbs also raised the issue of
women in prisons, and the increasing rate at which women are being incarcerated,
particularly Indigenous women with past abuse histories.
462

Routine screening for domestic violence in health services

Jo Spangaro from the University of New South Wales reported on an evaluation of a
NSW Health initiative to routinely screen women for domestic violence in antenatal,
early childhood, mental health and drug and alcohol services. The screening includes
questions around the experience of violence by their current or past partner and their
fear of the current partner. The program screens 120, 000 women yearly, and 7 per cent
of women answer in the affirmative to one or both questions. One in 20 pregnant women
is being abused currently which raises concerns about the health and safety of babies
as well as pregnant women. 463

Access to legal services for migrant and refugee women

A report by Women's Legal Services NSW documents the experienced of newly arrived
migrant and refugee women and the difficulties they face in accessing legal services.
The recent research, an update of a 1994 report, found that the areas of legal need for
these groups of women have remained the same: family law, migration law and domestic
violence. A number of barriers to migrant and refugee women accessing legal services
were also identified. A key conclusion of the report was the need for consistent
monitoring, coordination and sustained activity to progress the recommendations made in
this report and the previous one. 464

Sexual abuse and disclosure

Jan Breckenridge reported on her research regarding the experiences of survivors of
sexual abuse seeking assistance. She has found that disclosures of sexual abuse are
generally not well received and survivors are disillusioned by legal processes. Overall
the most positive experience of receiving assistance was not from agencies, but from
family and friends. Also highlighted is the general deficit of services, the lack of
interest in gendered violence against children and the difficulty of the legal process
for children. 465

Preventing sexual assault with young people

Moira Carmody from the University of Western Sydney reported on her project with the
NSW Rape Crisis Centre, Developing ethical and sexual lives: Young people, sex and
sexual assault prevention
. This Australian Research Council Linkage project is a
study of 56 young people to assess their experiences of sex education, sexual
experiences and negotiation of sexual encounters. The research concluded that gender,
specifically expectations about male entitlement and feminine compliance, continues to
be a major influence on the sexual experiences of young people. Their project
highlighted the need for alternative approaches to negotiating sexual intimacy to
prevent sexual assault that are broader than current education around avoidance and
risk management. From the research a six hour education program was developed designed
to help young people to build up skills to negotiate relationships. In a follow up
study six months after the program, 80 per cent of participants were still using the
skills from the education program, were feeling more confident in negotiating
relationships, and had better skills to intervene with others and challenge behaviour
in their communities. 466

Violence and women with disabilities

Leanne Dowse from the University of New South Wales reported on the work of Women
with Disabilities Australia (WWDA). She described a kit developed by WWDA which gives
voice to the experiences of women with a disability, with specific reference to their
experiences of violence. The kit highlights the different types of violence experienced
including sexual assault, financial violence, reproductive violence and institutional
violence. A key challenge in this area of work is access to information. Service
providers and policy makers need to think about how to reach women with disabilities
and how to ensure that appropriate information is communicated.
467

A resource developed by WWDA provides an overview of violence against women with
disabilities from a global perspective. The resource examines language and definitions,
the incidence and prevalence of violence, the nature and forms of violence and the
policy and program responses to violence. The book also contains an annotated
bibliography of known published and unpublished resources of violence against women
with disabilities. 468

5.4.3 Policy and project ideas

The following policy and project ideas were suggested by participants in the
Listening Tour.

  1. The proposed federal government National Plan of Action on violence against women
    should consider violence against women as a continuum inclusive of all types of
    violence. 469
  2. There should be a national strategy on violence against women with disabilities. 470
  3. HREOC's role in preventing violence against women should be expanded to ensure
    that the federal Government's response to violence against indigenous women and girls
    complies with human rights standards. 471
  4. Changes to welfare and family law should be reviewed to examine the impact on
    women experiencing violence. 472
  5. The culture of violence should be challenged at a broader level - in sport, pubs
    and homes. It should all be recognised as male violence.
    473
  6. HREOC should use its influence to monitor violence against women and children.
    HREOC should ensure that the optional protocol to the Convention on the Elimination
    of Discrimination against Women is signed. 474
  7. Children should be educated in non-violence and about sexual violence so they are
    empowered to act on it if they experience it. 475

5.5 Trafficking

5.5.1 What we heard

Trafficking of women for sex work was another issue raised during the Listening
Tour, with sex worker advocates concerned about the impact of anti-trafficking measures
on sex workers, and differing views on whether sex work should be decriminalised and a
valid avenue for migration to Australia.

Trafficking victims need unconditional access to support services

The trafficking of women was an issue raised by the sex worker group Scarlet
Alliance. Scarlet Alliance argued that the media have created a 'sex slave' stereotype
and that anti-trafficking measures have unfairly focussed on the sex industry when
trafficking occurs in a range of other industries. They say the impact of these
measures is that sex worker peer educators and partnership services report increasing
difficulty in maintaining contact with these migrant workers and their workplaces. As a
result, recently arrived migrant sex workers are cut off from services and other sex
workers in the new workplace. These workers become more marginalised, less able to
access services and less likely to be able to influence workplace conditions, such as
occupational health and safety. 476

Scarlet Alliance reported that up to 25 per cent of brothel and massage parlour sex
workers in NSW are of non-English speaking backgrounds (NESB). They alleged that
Department of Immigration and Citizenship and Australian Federal Police raids of sex
worker venues to find trafficking victims have unfairly targeted all sex workers of
Asian origin. 477 Scarlet Alliance said that making eligibility
for support services contingent upon a victim's assistance with investigations did not
serve either the best interests of the victim or the investigation process. 478

The Sex Workers Outreach Project also provided feedback to the Commissioner about
the federal government's victims support program for trafficking victims. Second hand
feedback from trafficking victims indicates that participants in the program suffer
from depression, boredom due to inability to work and cultural shock from the isolated
accommodation. 479

There are mixed views about the legal status of sex work

Scarlet Alliance held the view that sex work needed to be decriminalised and
included as a valid occupation for migration to prevent the illegal trafficking of
women. 480

An alternative view about the legal status of sex work was posted on the Listening
Tour blog arguing that decriminalising sex work leads to increased trafficking in
women:

I would like to know w[h]ere HREOC stands on decriminalising prostitution. It has
just happened in WA, and I'm terribly concerned about increased trafficking of women,
expansion of the sex industry, increased exploitation of women, and how our society
will look when women are only valued as sexual objects. 481

5.5.2 Policy and project ideas

The following policy and project ideas were suggested by participants in the
Listening Tour.

  1. There should be legal avenues for migration to Australia for sex work. [482]
  2. All trafficking victims should be eligible for the government support program,
    rather than eligibility being contingent upon assistance with authorities. [483]
  3. There should be specific federal legislation to protect sex-workers from
    discrimination. 484

5.6 Bibliography

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 'Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, May 2007, Cat
no. 6302.0' (2007)

Australian Bureau of Statistics, 'Personal Safety, Australia, 2005, Cat no. 4906.0'
(2005)

Hayes, Patricia, 'Taking it Seriously: Contemporary Experiences of Sexual Harassment
in the Workplace' (CASA House, 2004)

Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, '20 Years On: The Challenges
Continue, Sexual Harassment in the Australian Workplace' (2004)

Mouzos, Jenny and Makkai, Toni, 'Women's Experiences of Male Violence: Findings from
the Australian Component of the International Violence Against Women Survey (IVAWS)'
(Australian Institute of Criminology, 2004)

Scarlet Alliance, 'Migrant Sex Workers, the Australian response to trafficking and
why this is relevant to Scarlet Alliance and our HIV/AIDS work' (2007)

VicHealth, 'The health costs of violence: Measuring the burden of disease caused by
intimate partner violence' (2004)

Victorian Women with Disabilities Network, 'A Framework for Influencing Change:
Responding to Violence against Women with Disabilities' (2007)

Women's Legal Services NSW, 'A Long Way to Equal: An update of "Quarter Way to
Equal: A report on Barriers to Access to Legal Services for Migrant Women".' (Women's
Legal Services NSW, 2007)

Women With Disabilities Australia, 'Forgotten Sisters: A Global Review of Violence
against Women with Disabilities' (2007)

^top


[341]Edith, Blog entry (2007) Human Rights and
Equal Opportunity Commission Listening Tour website at 26 December 2007

[342]Universal Declaration of Human Rights, GA
Res 217A (III), UN Doc A/810 (1948); Australian Bureau of Statistics, 'Average Weekly
Earnings, Australia, May 2007, Cat no. 6302.0' (2007)

[343]Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of
Discrimination Against Women
, opened for signature 18 December 1979, 1249 UNTS
13 (entered into force 3 September 1981), ratified by Australia 28 July
1983. 

[344]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Annual Report 2006-2007' (2007)

[345]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, '20
Years On: The Challenges Continue, Sexual Harassment in the Australian Workplace'
(2004)

[346]Australian Bureau of Statistics, 'Personal Safety,
Australia, 2005, Cat no. 4906.0' (2005)

[347]Jenny Mouzos and Toni Makkai, 'Women's Experiences
of Male Violence: Findings from the Australian Component of the International
Violence Against Women Survey (IVAWS)' (Australian Institute of Criminology,
2004)

[348]VicHealth, 'The health costs of violence: Measuring
the burden of disease caused by intimate partner violence' (2004)

[349]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 7' (2008)

[350]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Hobart Community Consultation' (2007)

[351]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 7' (2008)

[352]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 'NSW
Peak Women's Roundtable' (2007)

[353]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Annual Report 2006-2007' (2007)

[354]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Canberra Community Consultation' (2008); Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission, 'Meeting with Working Women's Centre of South Australia' (2007); Human
Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 'NSW Peak Women's Roundtable'
(2007)

[355]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Working Women's Centre of South Australia' (2007)

[356]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Darwin Community Consultation' (2008)

[357]Greg Andreson et al, 'Issues for Australian Men and
Boys: Briefing paper for meeting with Ms Elizabeth Broderick Sex Discrimination
Commissioner and Commissioner Responsible for Age Discrimination' (2008)

[358]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Women's Corporation, Redfern, NSW'
(2007)

[359]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 1' (2007)

[360]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Sydney Community Consultation' (2007)

[361]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 5' (2008)

[362]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 2' (2007)

[363]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Darwin Community Consultation' (2008)

[364]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 'NSW
Peak Women's Roundtable' (2007)

[365]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Working Women's Centre of South Australia' (2007)

[366]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Sydney Community Consultation' (2007)

[367]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Sydney Community Consultation' (2007)

[368]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with National Women's Secretariats' (2007)

[369]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Sydney Community Consultation' (2007)

[370]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 'NSW
Peak Women's Roundtable' (2007)

[371]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Melbourne Community Consultation' (2008)

[372]Belinda Smith, 'Summary of research for Sydney
Academic Roundtable' (2007)
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 'Notes from Sydney Academic
Roundtable, co hosted by Women and Work Research Group,' (2007)

[373]Australian Federation of Medical Women, 'Moving on
from one size fits all: towards gender mainstreaming in medicine' (2004)

[374]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Working Women's Centre of South Australia' (2007)

[375]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Working Women's Centre of South Australia' (2007)

[376]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 1' (2007)

[377]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Men's focus group 4' (2008)

[378]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Melbourne Community Consultation' (2008)

[379]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Melbourne Community Consultation' (2008)

[380]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Perth Community Consultation' (2008)

[381]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Darwin Community Consultation' (2008)

[382]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 7' (2008)

[383]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Sara Charleworth, RMIT' (2008)

[384]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Sara Charleworth, RMIT' (2008)

[385]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 6' (2008)

[386]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 7' (2008)

[387]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 7' (2008)

[388]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Unions Tasmania' (2007)

[389]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 4' (2008)

[390]Anonymous, Blog entry (2008) Human Rights
and Equal Opportunity Commission Listening Tour website at 10 February 2008

[391]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Adelaide Business Consultation with CEDA' (2007)

[392]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 1' (2007)

[393]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 1' (2007)

[394]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 1' (2007)

[395]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 1' (2007)

[396]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Perth Community Consultation' (2008)

[397]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Melbourne Community Consultation' (2008)

[398]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Brisbane Community Consultation' (2008)

[399]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Adelaide Community Consultation' (2007)

[400]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 3' (2007)

[401]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 7' (2008)

[402]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 3' (2007)

[403]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 7' (2008)

[404]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Mackay Community Consultation, Queensland' (2008); Human Rights and Equal
Opportunity Commission, 'Melbourne Community Consultation' (2008)

[405]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Adelaide Business Consultation with CEDA' (2007)

[406]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Melbourne Community Consultation' (2008)

[407]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Perth Community Consultation' (2008)

[408]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Mackay Community Consultation, Queensland' (2008)

[409]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Men's focus group 1' (2007)

[410]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Men's focus group 3' (2007)

[411]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Men's focus group 3' (2007)

[412]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Equal Opportunity Practitioners Association, Brisbane. '
(2008)

[413]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 4' (2008)

[414]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Sydney Community Consultation' (2007); Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission, 'Launceston Chamber of Commerce Business Roundtable' (2007)

[415]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Canberra Community Consultation' (2008)

[416]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Anti Discrimination Commission, Tasmania' (2007)

[417]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Adelaide Business Consultation with CEDA' (2007)

[418]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Adelaide Community Consultation' (2007)

[419]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Canberra Community Consultation' (2008)

[420]Patricia Hayes, 'Taking it Seriously: Contemporary
Experiences of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace' (CASA House, 2004)

[421]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Brisbane Community Consultation' (2008); Human Rights and Equal Opportunity
Commission, 'Women's focus group 1' (2007)

[422]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 1' (2007)

[423]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 1' (2007)

[424]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 1' (2007)

[425]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 1' (2007)

[426]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Canberra Community Consultation' (2008)

[427]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Darwin Community Consultation' (2008)

[428]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 7' (2008)

[429]The Australian Federation of University Women Inc.,
'March 2008 Submission to the Sex Discrimination Commissioner' (2008)

[430]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Murray Bridge Community Consultation, South Australia' (2007); Human Rights and
Equal Opportunity Commission, 'Sydney Community Consultation' (2007)

[431]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Hobart Community Consultation' (2007)

[432]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Sydney Community Consultation' (2007)

[433]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Perth Community Consultation' (2008)

[434]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Women's Corporation, Redfern, NSW'
(2007)

[435]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Women's Corporation, Redfern, NSW'
(2007)

[436]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Indigenous elders and students, Mackay, Queensland' (2008)

[437]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Women's Corporation, Redfern, NSW'
(2007)

[438]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Mudgin-Gal Aboriginal Women's Corporation, Redfern, NSW'
(2007)

[439]Aboriginal Legal Rights Movement (ALRM), 'Brief for
the Sex Discrimination Commissioner' (2007)

[440]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Indigenous elders and students, Mackay, Queensland' (2008)

[441]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Fitzroy Crossing Community Consultation' (2008)

[442]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Murray Bridge Community Consultation, South Australia' (2007)

[443]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Melbourne Community Consultation' (2008)

[444]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Adelaide Business Consultation with CEDA' (2007)

[445]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Launceston Chamber of Commerce Business Roundtable' (2007)

[446]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Men's focus group 4' (2008)

[447]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Men's focus group 3' (2007)

[448]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Brisbane Community Consultation' (2008)

[449]Greg Andreson et al, 'Issues for Australian Men and
Boys: Briefing paper for meeting with Ms Elizabeth Broderick Sex Discrimination
Commissioner and Commissioner Responsible for Age Discrimination' (2008)

[450]Paul, Blog entry (2008) at 1 February
2008

[451]Greg Andreson et al, 'Issues for Australian Men and
Boys: Briefing paper for meeting with Ms Elizabeth Broderick Sex Discrimination
Commissioner and Commissioner Responsible for Age Discrimination' (2008)

[452]Victorian Women with Disabilities Network, 'A
Framework for Influencing Change: Responding to Violence against Women with
Disabilities' (2007)

[453]Victorian Women with Disabilities Network, 'A
Framework for Influencing Change: Responding to Violence against Women with
Disabilities' (2007)

[454]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Women's focus group 5' (2008)

[455]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Violence against Women Research Roundtable, UNSW, Sydney' (2008)

[456]Email from Anonymous to Elizabeth Broderick, 30
November 2007.

[457]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Sydney Community Consultation' (2007)

[458]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 'NSW
Peak Women's Roundtable' (2007)

[459]The Australian Federation of University Women Inc.,
'March 2008 Submission to the Sex Discrimination Commissioner' (2008)

[460]Suzanne Franzway, 'Summary of research for Adelaide
Academic Roundtable' (University of South Australia, 2007)
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 'Adelaide Academic Roundtable
co-hosted by the Centre for Work and Life, University of South Australia'
(2007)

[461]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Violence against Women Research Roundtable, UNSW, Sydney' (2008)

[462]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Violence against Women Research Roundtable, UNSW, Sydney' (2008)

[463]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Violence against Women Research Roundtable, UNSW, Sydney' (2008)

[464]Women's Legal Services NSW, 'A Long Way to Equal: An
update of "Quarter Way to Equal: A report on Barriers to Access to Legal Services for
Migrant Women".' (Women's Legal Services NSW, 2007)

[465]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Violence against Women Research Roundtable, UNSW, Sydney' (2008)

[466]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Violence against Women Research Roundtable, UNSW, Sydney' (2008)

[467]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Violence against Women Research Roundtable, UNSW, Sydney' (2008)

[468]Women With Disabilities Australia, 'Forgotten
Sisters: A Global Review of Violence against Women with Disabilities' (2007)

[469]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Canberra Community Consultation' (2008)

[470]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Melbourne Community Consultation' (2008)

[471]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Melbourne Community Consultation' (2008)

[472]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Perth Community Consultation' (2008)

[473]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Mackay Community Consultation, Queensland' (2008)

[474]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Perth Community Consultation' (2008)

[475]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Perth Community Consultation' (2008)

[476]Scarlet Alliance, 'Migrant Sex Workers, the
Australian response to trafficking and why this is relevant to Scarlet Alliance and
our HIV/AIDS work' (2007)

[477]Scarlet Alliance, 'Migrant Sex Workers, the
Australian response to trafficking and why this is relevant to Scarlet Alliance and
our HIV/AIDS work' (2007)

[478]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Sex Workers Outreach Project and Scarlet Alliance' (2008)

[479]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Sex Workers Outreach Project and Scarlet Alliance' (2008)

[480]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Sex Workers Outreach Project and Scarlet Alliance' (2008)

[481]Heidi, Blog entry (2008) Human Rights and
Equal Opportunity Commission Listening Tour website at 18 March 2008

[482]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Sex Workers Outreach Project and Scarlet Alliance' (2008)

[483]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Sex Workers Outreach Project and Scarlet Alliance' (2008)

[484]Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission,
'Meeting with Sex Workers Outreach Project and Scarlet Alliance' (2008)