Gendered violence case studies

Examples of work-related gendered violence and possible controls.


Fatima's story

Fatima works on a construction site. Fatima identifies as a lesbian and is open at work about her relationship with her female partner. Fatima’s supervisor has repeatedly made comments about her sexuality, including asking Fatima how she and her partner have sex. Fatima finds these questions intrusive and unwelcome. The supervisor has also made racist comments. She feels intimidated and is afraid to speak up about the comments in case she loses shifts at work.

After thinking about it for a while, Fatima decides to talk to her manager about the supervisor’s behaviour. The manager listens to her concerns. The manager speaks with the supervisor, reminding them of the company’s harassment and discrimination policy and making it clear that Fatima must not be penalised for raising the issue. The manager also decides to conduct some refresher training on respectful behaviour at the next toolbox talk.

Sandy's story

Sandy is a young supermarket employee. The policy at her work is that employees have to park at the far end of the carpark because the close parks are for customers. Evening shifts finish at midnight and she usually walks to her car alone. She has been harassed a few times and is frightened about walking alone in the car park at night.

The supermarket’s work systems mean that Sandy and her coworkers can be made more vulnerable. A few changes to workplace practices can improve this. For instance, ensuring that the car park is well lit, and that staff walk to their cars at night in pairs, or move their cars close to the workplace at a certain time, can reduce or eliminate some of these risks and incidents of gendered violence.

Simon's story

Simon is a team supervisor. One of Simon's team members, Joe, is a transgender man. Before his transition, Joe approached Simon and explained that he would be making some important changes and wanted to be assured that the workplace would be inclusive and safe. Simon supported Joe in talking with his coworkers about what pronouns he preferred.

A few months later, Simon notices that two team members still repeatedly refer to Joe by his old name and as 'her' instead of using his preferred name and pronouns. They even do this in front of clients. Simon pulls these team members aside and states clearly that disrespect to Joe will not be tolerated.

Work-related Gendered Violence campaign

Gendered violence is an OHS issue. It is unacceptable in any form.

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