Over the past few months, statistics have been issued by the NGO, ‘Men Against Violence’ in collaboration with the Women’s Rights Foundation and the Malta Community Chest Fund. Regretfully, results indicate alarming figures where three out of every four women have experienced some form of sexual harassment at their place of work…
Several women shared that they went through this harassment themselves, whilst others stated that they saw it happening to colleagues. The same study also revealed that there are men who experience the same situation, but only one-third of men who formed part of the study said they experienced sexual harassment.
As per TVM, who spoke with Rene Laiviera from the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality, Laiviera explained that when it comes to sexual harassment, a person would be bothering another person via sexual connotations or behaviour.
Since workplaces are made up of people with different characters, attention must be paid to one’s language and behaviour, as no individual should feel uncomfortable at their workplace. Laviera added that there is still the impression that only young women who wear provocative clothing are harassed, but this is not the case.
She continued, ‘I know of cases of women over 50 who have been sexually harassed’, pointing out that one must also consider the impact which this harassment leaves on the individual’s personal life, with their partner and children.
Sarah Jane Mifsud, the head of the Treatment for Victims of Sexual Aggression within Victim Support Malta, also said that each case must be analysed individually because every case is different – so much so that not all victims are impacted in the same way either.
Mifsud explained that they often met with people who felt afraid to go back to work, knowing they must face the harassing behaviour. She added that in some cases, the victim is left to suffer from anxiety or even depression. She concluded, ‘We need to be sensitive because we do not know how the person will be affected by such behaviour.’