Sexual Harassment in Christian Schools

As we indicated last year, the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) conducted its fourth national survey into sexual harassment in Australian workplaces which demonstrated that sexual harassment remains a significant concern for both employees and employers.

Key survey findings

  • 61% of women say they have experienced some form of sexual harassment when provided with its legal definition, an increase from 21% in 2012.
  • There has been an increase in the incidence of sexual harassment in the workplace since the 2012 Survey, with 39% of women aged 15 years or older experiencing sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • 79% of perpetrators of workplace sexual harassment are male.
  • 83% of incidents of sexual harassment in the workplace went unreported.
  • 43% of those who did make a formal report about sexual harassment experienced negative consequences as a result – including being labelled a trouble maker (19%), being ostracised, victimised or ignored by colleagues (18%), being disciplined, or resigning (17%).

In response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s (AHRC) 2018 national survey, Christian Schools Australia (CSA) sought to see if the national results would be reflected within our 140 member schools.

The CSA survey was voluntary but of the respondents an overwhelming 95% stated they had not experienced sexual harassment within the Christian school context within the last 5 year period.

Compared with the 61% of women who say they have experienced some form of sexual harassment in the broader ARHC survey this 5% rate within Christian schools is a remarkable result.

The survey also sought to highlight potential improvements areas for Christian Schools.  The results indicate that Christian Schools can further improve on complaint processes and responses; need to remain vigilant in pursuing a culture of reporting sexual harassment and generally improve awareness regarding the potential for sexual harassment to occur within the workplace.

A copy of the CSA Survey Results can be downloaded from the link below