What can the local union do?
The local union can play a leadership role in preventing workplace sexual violence and supporting survivors who choose to disclose. It can help foster a workplace that prevents and responds to sexual violence by providing appropriate training to help members know what to do as witnesses.
Trained stewards can help members understand their rights and the options for support. Stewards need training to create and implement workplace safety plans for people who have experienced violence. Along with health and safety representatives, stewards can play a critical role in reducing barriers to reporting and ensuring violence is addressed.
A joint union-employer health and safety committee, or a well-trained health and safety representative, with the capacity to receive complaints of sexual violence, is also important. Where there is a joint committee, the committee can play an effective role in addressing violence and preventing its reoccurrence. In consultation with the joint health and safety committee, the employer can create a workplace sexual violence program to ensure that investigations are effectively and appropriately conducted.