speak out

If you, or anyone you know needs help or support, it is only a phone call or message away:

If you would like to share your experiences and/or perspectives with us, please fill out the survey below.

We would like to hear from you if you care about the way our laws, political parties, institutions, organisations and companies deal with sexual harassment, bullying, victimisation, and other serious misconduct.

Putting survivors first, and preventing future misconduct should not be a political issue - so our advocacy is apolitical. Please click below to read more about who we are, and what we hope to achieve.

Personal and identifying information will remain confidential. We value your trust. But for the purposes of advocating for change, we may use your responses to this survey. Please click below to read more about how we will protect your information.

We’re looking forward to creating change with you,

Dhanya & Chelsey

We would like to understand what you have been through and/or witnessed as a survivor and/or ally
We know how difficult it is to speak out - and we'd like to be there for you, and help in any way we can. If you feel comfortable sharing your story with us, we'd like to understand your own experiences and how they've affected you.
Sexual harassment, bullying and other types of serious misconduct are endemic issues. As a survivor - or an ally - are you aware of instances where those around you have been harassed, bullied or vilified? We are both also aware of how difficult it is to speak out. We would like to understand what obstacles you encountered, or were aware of, that did/you felt could make it difficult for you/others to speak out. Did these obstacles prevent you/others from speaking out, or did they prevent you/others from being able to report the full extent of the misconduct?
We want to get to know you, and create momentum for change together
If you are a survivor, what would have made it easier or possible to discuss your experience? What do you think needs to happen now? If you are an ally, what changes do you believe need to take place to best support survivors, and prevent further harassment, bullying and vilification.
Would you like to be involved? *
So far, stories about sexual harassment in politics have focused on consequences for the perpetrator, rather than how to achieve justice for survivors. We want to refocus the conversation on what matters to survivors - and how they want to make change happen. Please let us know if any of the below interest you:
Please share your opinion on the issues below so that we can lobby for the reforms that matter to you
More must be done to reach out to survivors and allies in a meaningful way, to inform advocacy for law reform and institutional change. We would like to help solve that problem. We need your input to accomplish that goal.
Law reform *
Law reform
The Members of Parliament Staff Act should be reformed so that staffers have clear legal protections when they experience sexual harassment, bullying or other unfair/discriminatory conduct at work.
The Members of Parliament Staff Act should be reformed so that staff cannot be dismissed without cause, for any reason, and at any time.
The Members of Parliament Staff Act and the relevant anti-discrimination legislation should be reformed so that Members of Parliament are able to be held vicariously liable for misconduct that occurs in their offices that they did not do enough to prevent, or deal with.
Laws on sexual harassment and discrimination, more broadly, should be reformed to encode higher standards of respect and consent.
There should be bystander laws to combat sexual harassment, bullying or other unfair/discriminatory conduct. Leaders, workplace participants, or members of political parties/institutions/organisations/companies should be held responsible if they ignore conduct that is unfair, unsafe, illegal and/or unethical.
Defamation laws should be reformed. That is because sexual harassment, bullying or other unfair/discriminatory conduct tends to occur in ways that make it challenging to gather evidence. Without defamation laws that acknowledge and engage with this problem, survivors are discouraged from speaking out, and newspapers/media companies are deterred from helping survivors to raise awareness about their experiences.
There should be better, detailed laws; and increased policing around the efficacy of complaints-handling processes
Media responsibility *
Media responsibility
The media must take responsibility for their role in the 'othering' of survivors because coverage tends to focus almost solely on the perpetrator, and theoretical/actual consequences for them and their career that result from their misconduct.
The media has previously chosen to report on, and publish, material that is leaked to them about a survivor's experiences without the survivor's consent. This is wrong. The media should refuse to publish stories that include information about a survivor's experiences where that information has been disclosed by a person other than the survivor without her consent as this is disempowering and traumatic for survivors.
Clear standards of ethics should be developed to ensure that reporting of sexual harassment, bullying or other unfair/discriminatory conduct is responsible and sensitive.
There should be clear guidelines around how the media can avoid causing reasonably foreseeable harm to survivors and their mental health.
Institutional responsibility *
Institutional responsibility
The government should fund the development of model sexual harassment, bullying, victimisation, and anti-discrimination policies that address risk factors specific to different types of political parties/institutions/organisations/companies.
It should be mandatory for political parties/institutions/organisations/companies to provide regular and fulsome training on discrimination, victimisation, bullying and sexual harassment.
Individuals should not be eligible for leadership positions if they have failed to successfully undergo training on sexual harassment, victimisation, bullying, and other types of misconduct.
Political parties/institutions/organisations/companies must ensure that survivors can receive free and timely assistance from independent advocates and lawyers. Right now, it is costly and difficult to make a complaint - and this only worsens what survivors are going through.
There should be a clear, procedurally fair, confidential, and independent process for making complaints that prevents undue harm and reputational damage being suffered by complainants and respondents.
Leaders and influential figures should be held accountable for ignoring complaints of misconduct, or acting in a way that enables ongoing misconduct.
There should be serious and immediate consequences for leaders and influential figures who ignore or enable misconduct.
Leaders and influential figures should be held accountable if they only respond to allegations of misconduct in order to minimise damage to their reputation, and continue to alienate survivors.
Political parties/institutions/organisations/companies should have to institute policies that can help to prevent misconduct (For example, policies on event safety, and ensuring there are support persons at all events).
Political party responsibility *
Political party responsibility
Political parties should have a zero-tolerance approach towards sexual harassment, bullying or other unfair/discriminatory conduct.
Political parties should not allow individuals who are found to have committed serious misconduct, either by being a perpetrator, ignoring it, or enabling it; to be eligible to stand for preselection, or run for senior office-bearer positions.
If an individual is found to have committed serious misconduct while a Parliamentarian or senior office-bearer, a political party should expel/suspend them from the party.
Political workplaces
Political workplaces
If you work/volunteer for a politician or political party, do you feel you have been comprehensively educated about where to seek assistance if you have experienced sexual harassment either in the course of your duties, or that has been committed by a co-worker, or workplace participant?
If you work/volunteer for a politician or political party, do you feel that you could approach your supervisor, and/or Member of Parliament, and/or colleagues, and/or local Secretariat about sexual harassment you have experienced that has been committed by another party member?
If you work/volunteer for a politician or political party, do you think a complaint of sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination or other type of misconduct would be taken seriously?
If you work/volunteer for a politician or political party, do you think you would be victimised/mistreated by others as a direct result of your choice to complain?
If you work/volunteer for a politician or political party, do you have confidence that the politician/political party would ensure that the perpetrator was held accountable?
Tell us about yourself
It's important to us that you feel comfortable - so we understand if you'd like to remain anonymous. But if you would like to, you can share your first and/or last name with us.
If you'd like a platform to share your story, or if you'd just like someone to talk to, please leave your number, and we'll get in touch as soon as we can.
Demographic questions
Without fully understanding the patterns of harassment, bullying, victimisation and other misconduct that exist in political parties/institutions/organisations/companies; it's difficult to understand the complex problems that exist, and how to go about fixing them. We feel that the best way to start to try and fix this is by asking questions that can help us determine if there are particular groups or minorities that have suffered from harassment, victimisation, bullying, discrimination, or other misconduct more than others. Without this information, it is not possible to ensure these groups' voices are heard, and that the unique problems they face are understood. So we would like to ask some demographic questions. Please note that all of these questions are optional, but for the first two questions. These first two questions relate to political parties. They are mandatory because we believe the answers provided will help us to demonstrate to our politicians that change must happen, and that it must happen now.
Are you a member of a political party? *
Has the inaction/insufficient action of political parties in response to sexual harassment, bullying, or other types of misconduct impacted your political involvement? *
How would you describe your gender?
This question is about your sexual orientation. Which of the below best describes your sexual orientation?
What is your age?
Please leave this blank if you would prefer not to say.
What state/territory are you from, or do you live outside of Australia?
So we can best understand how to help (and call you at an appropriate time lol), please let us know where you're from.