Digital Writers Union | Sexual Violence & Harassment
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Sexual Violence & Harassment

“An Injury To One Is An Injury To All”

Unions are uniquely positioned to address the problems of sexual harassment and violence. A union shifts the dynamic of power in the workplace and moves isolated individual experiences to collective action.

 

Specifically, we seek to:

– Build relationships between workers based on trust, solidarity, and mutual aid

– Develop grassroots leadership and elevate the voices of people from marginalized communities

– Provide support and resources to people navigating legal and workplace processes

– Strengthen and enforce existing policies at individual workplaces

– Understand sexual violence as both a tool and function of power and oppression

 

Framework for action:

– Healing and community-building

– Education

– Intervention (short-term and crisis response)

– Prevention (long-term organizing)

– Ongoing needs assessments

 

On November 6, 2017, WGAE members and allies in digital media convened to strategize how to take action against sexual violence in the industry. On January 29, members reconvened to brainstorm specific next steps. Since January’s meeting, union members have:

– Surveyed union members to assess their concerns and interests

– Disseminated resources to union members

– Organized presentations in individual workplaces to educate union members on their rights, available resources, and best practices in reporting

– Brainstormed how to bring people in the industry together to change the culture of violence

Key Terms

Sexual Violence

Any unwanted sexual act of any kind that is committed without consent. Could be a sexual attempt or a sexual advance including – but not limited to – verbal comments, coercion, or assault.

 

Sexual Harassment

– “Quid Pro Quo” sexual harassment occurs when someone demands sexual favors in exchange for favorable employment conditions or opportunities, or threatens to negatively impact a member’s job status.

 

– “Hostile Work Environment” sexual harassment is characterized by conduct that has a purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance, or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

Resources

The WGAE Resource Guide offers information about what you can expect from your WGAE representatives, and what the Guild can do.

 

The Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma has an up-to-date resource page for reporting on sexual violence and trauma.

 

Finally, documenting sexual violence and sexual harassment is an important step to take. Here are some templates for documenting harassment, depending on the individual’s employment status:

Current employees
Employees who have since quit
Employees who were fired or laid off