Harassment, bullying and discrimination are unacceptable in the Australian music industry. These behaviours have a serious impact on the wellbeing and mental health of music industry workers. This guide is a checkpoint for individuals affected by sexual harm, harassment, bullying and discrimination in the course of their work in the music industry.
As the music industry’s leading charity and wellbeing advocate, we strongly encourage and promote safety, mental health and wellbeing best practice across all sectors of the industry. We invite music industry workplaces and employers to partner with us in this commitment by signing up to our Minimum Standards for a Mentally Healthy Music Industry.
If you have been, or think you may have been, sexually assaulted and you don’t feel safe, please call triple zero (000).
The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is also available if you need someone to talk to. This is a free phone counselling service for anyone working in Australian music or the arts, easily accessed by calling 1800 959 500. Select option 5 for the Safety At Work Support Line. You don’t have to be in a crisis to call the Helpline. Sometimes you just need to talk it out.
WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT/ASSAULT?
The Australian HealthDirect service provides this information that may be helpful:
- Sexual assault is any unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature that makes a person feel uncomfortable, scared or threatened
- Anyone can experience sexual assault and most victims know the person who assaulted them — which can include a spouse
- If you’ve been assaulted, you decide whether to report a sexual assault to the police or a support service. This can be done at any time
- Avoid washing yourself or your clothes immediately after an assault, so physical evidence can be collected if you choose to report the assault
- There are many sexual assault helplines and rape-crisis centres that can help you — even if you wish to contact them anonymously
The Respect@Work service describes sexual harassment as “any unwelcome sexual behaviour that a reasonable person could anticipate may make another person feel offended, intimidated or humiliated in that situation”.
- Unwelcome behaviour means unwanted or uninvited behaviour that a person regards as undesirable, offensive or disagreeable. Whether behaviour is unwelcome is a question for the person harassed
- A ‘reasonable person’ is an objective test and takes into account all the circumstances, which can include the sex, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, martial or relationship status, religious belief, race, colour, national or ethnic origin, any disability or any relationship between the parties
If you are experiencing or are witnessing sexual harassment, Respect@Work provides a tool that can help you identify what you can do next.
If at any time you find the process of using the tool upsetting or you feel unsafe, you can phone the police on 000; call the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline on 1800 959 500 and select Option 5 for the Safety At Work Support Line; or 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 for 24 hour support for people impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence and abuse.
If the first support service you call is not what you are looking for, please do try again or get some support from someone you trust to help you find one that feels right. There are services available in each state and territory which can provide support to people affected by sexual harm and harassment.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STOP HARASSMENT
- Seek support: Our Sexual Health and Safety Support Line, accessed 24/7 by calling 1800 959 500 (option 5), offers trauma-informed, survivor-centric support on sexual, domestic or family violence, including sexual harassment. The Helpline also includes access to dedicated support for LGBTQI+ people (option 2) and First Nations’ people (option 3). The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline is staffed by independent professional counsellors who understand the challenges of working in the music industry. They can also advise you on how to access legal assistance and mental health and well-being support services
- Lodge a sexual harassment complaint with an anti-discrimination or human rights body
- Lodge an application in relation to a stop sexual harassment order with the Fair Work Commission
- Lodge a workers’ compensation claim with your employer or through a workers’ compensation organisation if the workplace sexual harassment has caused you physical or mental injury or illness
- Report the workplace sexual harassment as a work health and safety (WHS) issue to a WHS regulator
- Report the workplace sexual harassment to police if you believe criminal conduct has occurred
Not sure what to do? Start with the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline on 1800 959 500. We’re here to help support you and to help make the music industry a safer, more inclusive workspace.
STEPS TO TAKE IF YOU’VE BEEN SEXUALLY ASSAULTED
Get to Safety
Make sure you’re in a safe place and call 000.
Talk to someone you can trust
Find someone to talk to you that you trust, like a family member, friend or a counsellor. The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline can provide you with advice, support and referral if you’d prefer to speak with a professional who understands the music industry.
Seek out a health professional
Medical support is available for people who have been sexually assaulted.
Trust your instincts
If you have been assaulted, you may not know what to do next immediately. Sexual assault is not okay and a crime. If you know the person who has assaulted you, you may want to report that person to the police or be an anonymous whistle blower.
BULLYING AND DISCRIMINATION
Bullying is repeated verbal, physical, social or psychological abuse or other unreasonable behaviour by a person or group of people towards another person or group of people at work that creates a risk to health and safety (Australian Human Rights Commission factsheet). It can include repeated hurtful remarks or attacks, excluding you or stopping you from working with people or taking part in activities that relate to your work, intimidation, micro-management.
Sexual harassment and discrimination can also be bullying behaviour.
Some practices in the workplace may not seem fair but are not bullying. For example, your employer is allowed to transfer, demote, discipline, counsel, retrench or sack you (as long as they are acting reasonably).
Discrimination happens when a person, or a group of people, is directly or indirectly treated less favourably than another person or group because of their background or certain personal characteristics.
If you are being bullied or discriminated against, there are things you can do and people who can help.
- If the bullying or discrimination behaviour is violent or threatening it may be a criminal offence and you should contact the police immediately call 000
- Support Act’s Wellbeing Helpline offers free, confidential counselling and mental health support 24/7. The service is staffed by independent professional counsellors who understand the challenges of working in the music industry. They can advise you on your options if you are experiencing bulling and/or discrimination
- The Australian Human Rights Commission suggests:
- Keeping a diary of the bullying / discrimination behaviours and what you’ve done to try stopping it. This can help if you decide to make a complaint
- Getting support: in addition to the Support Act Wellbeing Helpline (1800 959 500), there are support services listed here on the Australian Human Rights Commission site, and here on the Fair Work Ombudsman site. You can also contact your union, if you are a union member. Music industry workers can become members of the Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance
- Approaching the bully. If you feel safe, you can approach the person who is bullying you and tell them that their behaviour is unwanted and not acceptable. The Support Act Wellbeing Helpline can give you advice on how to do this
- Telling someone at your work. Your workplace will usually have a process for making a complaint and resolving disputes, which might include a warning, requiring the bully to have counselling, a mediation process, or even firing the bully if the situation continues. The person to talk to might be your supervisor/manager, an HR or grievance officer, or a health and safety representative (if your work has one)
- Get information and advice. If the bullying is serious, if the situation has not changed after complaining to your manager, or if there is not anyone you can safely talk to at work you can get outside information and advice from the Fair Work Commission, the Fair Work Ombudsman, the Office of the eSafety Commissioner
for information on cyberbullying and online abuse, ReportCyber for information about cybercrime including online image-based abuse, threats and intimidation and the Australian Human Rights Commission for complaints about discrimination
OTHER SUPPORT SERVICES
National sexual assault support
Provides confidential sexual assault and family and domestic violence counselling via phone and webchat. Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Phone: 1800 737 732
Men’s Referral Service
This service from No to Violence offers assistance, information and counselling to help men who use family violence.
Phone: 1300 766 491
With MensLine Australia’s online counselling, you can access free professional support, no matter where you are in Australia. Speak to qualified counsellors that specialise in family and relationship issues, including relationship breakdown, separation and divorce, parenting, family violence, suicide prevention and emotional wellbeing.
Phone: 1300 78 99 78
New South Wales
24/7 telephone and online trauma counselling for anyone in NSW whose life has been impacted by sexual violence.
Phone: 1800 424 017
Directory of support services in New South Wales from the state government’s Prevention and Response to Violence Abuse and Neglect service.
Australian Capital Territory
Face-to-face support services for survivors of sexual abuse, assault or harassment. There is also crisis phone support available from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week.
Phone: (02) 6247 2525
The Canberra Rape Crisis Centre’s specialised service for men over the age of 16 who have experienced sexual abuse, assault or harassment. Both face-to-face and phone counselling are available, with crisis phone support available from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week.
Phone: (02) 6247 2525
A centre based in Casuarina that provides both phone and face-to-face support and counselling services. Phone support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Phone: (08) 8922 6472
A centre based in Alice Springs that provides both phone and face-to-face support and counselling services. Phone support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Phone: (08) 8952 6075
Provides phone-based support and counselling to any Queenslander who has, or thinks they may have, been sexually assaulted or abused. The service is available from 7.30am to 11.30pm, seven days a week.
Phone: 1800 010 120
Mensline is a free and confidential telephone crisis counselling, referral and support service for men living in Queensland. Support is available from 9 am to midnight, seven days a week.
Phone: 1800 600 636
A directory of local support services throughout Queensland from Queensland Health.
The lead public health agency responding to adult rape and sexual assault in South Australia. Yarrow Place provides many services, including a 24/7 crisis response service, professional counselling, and support groups.
Note: Yarrow Place only offers services for people over 16 years, for recent sexual assault.
Phone: (08) 8226 8777 from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays, (08) 8226 8787 for a 24/7 hotline for survivors of a recent sexual assault, or 1800 817 421 toll-free.
SASS is a free and confidential support service for southern Tasmanian people of all ages who have been affected by any form of sexual violence. They also provide Redress Scheme Support Services across Tasmania.
24 hour crisis support: 1800 697 877
All other enquiries: (03) 6231 0044
Provides face-to-face counselling to adults and children affected by sexual assault in the North and North West of Tasmania. Their office hours are 8.30am to 5pm for Launceston, and 9am to 5pm for Burnie/Devonport.
Phone: (03) 6334 2740 (Launceston), (03) 6431 9711 (Burnie and Devonport)
A free, statewide, after-hours service for people in Victoria who have experienced sexual violence. The crisis line operates from 5pm on weeknights to 9am the next day, and during the same hours on weekends and public holidays.
Phone: 1800 806 292
The peak body for the 15 Centres Against Sexual Assault in Victoria and the Victorian Sexual Assault Crisis Line. Use this map to find your nearest centre, or call their toll-free number to be connected with your nearest centre or for after-hours support.
Phone: 1800 806 292
Provides face-to-face, phone and web-based support services for women in Victoria.
Phone: (03) 9664 9300
Provides services to people over the age of 13 affected by sexual violence, including emergency services and counselling. You can phone them 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you have been assaulted in the past two weeks, phone between 8.30am and 11pm any day of the week to speak to a crisis counsellor or to request a counselling appointment.
Phone: (08) 6458 1828
Translation services and help for people with disabilities
Translating and Interpreting Service
For callers who require a translating or interpreting service.
Phone 13 14 50 and ask them to contact the phone number of the service you want to get in touch with.
National Relay Service
For callers who are d/Deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech impairment.
TTY/Voice Calls: Phone 133 677 and ask them to contact the number of the service you want to connect with.
Speak and Listen: Phone 1300 555 727 and ask them to contact the number of the service you want to connect with.
*The Support Act Guide to Sexual Misconduct, Bullying and Discrimination was compiled with the assistance of APRA AMCOS and Banki Haddock Fiora Lawyers.