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YOLO Draws the Line on Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

07/07/2014
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The Australian Human Rights Commission launches ‘Know Where the Line is’ campaign

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has come together in partnership with Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) to spread an important message targeting sexual harassment in the workplace. The Commission then appointed Sydney creative agency, YOLO, following a competitive pitch, to develop a national awareness strategy to increase understanding of workplace sexual harassment.


The new campaign ‘Know Where the Line is’ is in response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s 2012 national sexual harassment prevalence survey, Working Without Fear. The research showed that workplace sexual harassment is pervasive and persistent in Australia with 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men having experienced workplace sexual harassment in the last 5 years. In addition, male harassment of other men is also on the rise. Importantly, the research showed that there is limited understanding amongst employers and employees about what constitutes sexual harassment. One of the unusual things about sexual harassment is that - in the offices, factory floors, warehouses and work sites around our country - people know something ‘not right’ is happening to them or someone else, but they don’t know what to call it or what to do.


YOLO’s campaign, utilising a clever mnemonic device aimed at educating employees on what constitutes crossing the line, highlights the importance of bystander action, whether this be listening, supporting or reporting. With the research showing that 82% of bystanders who witnesses sexual harassment taking some sort of action, the campaign encourages bystanders to “See. Talk. Support.”


Justine Metcalfe, Creative Partner at YOLO, said: “Unfortunately there are many people going to work in fear. Daily. Many feel powerless, cornered and shamed. Hopefully this campaign encourages victims and bystanders to act and speak up."

Elizabeth Broderick, Sex Discrimination Commissioner, added: “We have received very positive feedback from workplaces around Australia about how useful Know Where the Line Is in supporting employees to understand sexual harassment and to take bystander action if they see or hear about it in their workplace. The unique and innovative design of this strategy has meant that it is being picked up by many workplaces as part of their broader efforts to prevent sexual harassment in their organisations.”


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