Sexual Harassment Legal Service

 

    Advice, Advocacy, Action

    KLC has a specialist state-wide clinic for people experiencing sexual harassment. We have forty years’ experience in dealing with sexual harassment matters and broad expertise across discrimination law, employment law and working for people who have experienced harassment. 

    We work holistically on the endemic issue of sexual harassment. We aim to improve legal responses to provide better redress for people who have experienced sexual harassment. We work toward systemic change - to  improve legal and institutional responses to sexual harassment as well as to strengthen preventative measures.

    The Sexual Harassment Legal Service works across a range of areas, including:

    • Legal advice, assistance and representation to people who have or are experiencing sexual harassment;
    • Community legal education aimed at preventing sexual harassment and empowering people to speak up when it happens. This education is focused on a wide range of audiences, from high school and university students to community legal centres, pro bono lawyers and community workers;
    • Law reform work to advocate for better legal protections for people who experience sexual harassment. This work aims to improve how the law and institutions deal with sexual harassment and draws on the direct experience of our clients;
    • Leading cultural and institutional change. KLC is a leader in the conversation within legal institutions and with the next generation of lawyers about sexual harassment in the profession.

    Kingsford Legal Centre provides a state-wide (NSW) legal advice service for people who have experienced sexual harassment.  To ask about making an appointment to speak to a solicitor call us on (02) 9385 9566 or 1300 722 795 (regional NSW) during our business hours or email us at legal@unsw.edu.au

    KLC's community legal education program aims to prevent sexual harassment and to empower people to speak up when it happens. This education is focused on a wide range of audiences, from high school and university students to community legal centres, pro bono lawyers and community workers.

    #MeToo: Early intervention through community legal education

    With the advent of the #MeToo movement, there has been growing awareness about sexual harassment in the workplace. KLC recognises that power imbalances in the workplace are a key driver of sexual harassment and the importance of education as an important tool for prevention.

    Drawing on our statewide discrimination law practice, and our expertise in community legal education, we developed a workshop for high school students titled #MeToo: It’s About You. The workshop is an early intervention, aiming to start a conversation about sexual harassment and to educate young people on their rights and responsibilities in relation to sexual harassment. The workshop aims are for young people to understand what sexual harassment is, be able to identify sexual harassment in day-to-day life and to know what they can do to help put a stop to it.

    The workshop is aimed at students in Year 9 and 10, as that is the age young people are beginning to enter the workforce with part time jobs.  We know that sexual harassment in employment is prevalent, and the workshop covers this as well as sexual harassment in other settings, such as education or the provision of goods and services. The workshop is interactive, including small group activities which aim to clarify the young people’s ideas about sexual harassment, test their attitudes against those of others and help create a more intimate environment so they can voice their thoughts and questions about the topic.

    We have presented the workshop to a number of local high schools and have had very positive feedback from students and teachers, including that students had learnt something new including how jokes and or sexual propositioning could be sexual harassment and that they did not have to put up with this kind of behaviour.

    KLC believes that sexual harassment is preventable, and that the key to this is through education. Our #MeToo: It’s About You workshop aims to harness the power of prevention and educate young people on their rights and responsibilities in relation to sexual harassment.

    If you would like us to present at your school or youth group email us at legal@unsw.edu.au

    Kingsford Legal Centre recognises that our laws are not fit for purpose. Sexual harassment laws often fail people who have experienced sexual harassment and allow widespread sexual harassment to occur without redress. Kingsford Legal Centre has long advocated for better laws and policies to prevent sexual harassment before it occurs and provide appropriate redress to people who have experienced sexual harassment.

    We recognise that sexual harassment often occurs when there are significant differences in power between people. We link our advocacy on sexual harassment to advocacy on a broad range of issues, including discrimination and employment law.

    Our advocacy work draws on the experiences of our clients who have experienced sexual harassment and includes:

    • Making submissions to inquiries;
    • Engaging with decision-makers, media, experts and community stakeholders; and
    • Building public awareness of the problems with the law and the available legal solutions.  

    Kingsford Legal Centre’s advocacy work on sexual harassment includes:

    • Our joint response to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s landmark Respect@Work report (with Redfern Legal Centre, Women’s Legal Service NSW and Community Legal Centres Australia);
    • Our ‘#MeToo: Legal Responses to Sexual Harassment at Work’ report (with Redfern Legal Centre, Women’s Legal Service NSW and the National Association of Community Legal Centres);
    • The Australian NGO Coalition Submission on Australia’s Compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (coordinated by Kingsford Legal Centre, the National Association of Community Legal Centres, Community Legal Centres NSW and Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand);
    • The Australian NGO Coalition Submission on Australia’s Compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (coordinated by Kingsford Legal Centre and the Human Rights Law Centre);  
    • Our submission to the NSW Justice Department’s Discussion Paper on the Sharing of Intimate Images without Consent;
    • Our submission to the Australian Attorney-General’s Department’s Discussion Paper on the Consolidation of Commonwealth Anti-Discrimination Laws (with the National Association of Community Legal Centres);
    • Our submission to the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs Inquiry into the Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 – Exposure Draft Legislation (with the National Association of Community Legal Centres);
    • Our submission to the Australian Attorney-General’s Department on the Draft National Human Rights Action Plan.

    You can read all Kingsford Legal Centre’s law reform submissions here

    KLC is a leader in the conversation on cultural and institutional change within legal institutions and with the next generation of lawyers about sexual harassment in the profession.

    KLC produces plain English and accessible information for the community on the legal rights of people who have experienced sexual harassment. We also provide links to helpful information provided by other organisations. 

    Click here for KLC's factsheet on Sexual Harassment

    Kingsford Legal Centre acknowledges the Gadigal and Bidjigal Clans, who traditionally occupied the Sydney Coast.
    We respect those Elders, past and present, and thank them for allowing us to work and study on their lands

    Need assistance? Call us on +61 2 9385 9566

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