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Lagos commences campaign against sexual harassment in workplace

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Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi

In a bid to proactively address sexual harassment in the workplace, the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team (DSVRT) has commenced its “Lagos Says No to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace” campaign.

According to the DSVRT Coordinator, Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, staff of Unilever Nigeria Plc. were recently engaged on sexual harassment, steps to take to report harassment and the role of corporate organizations in ensuring safe spaces, the impact of sexual harassment some of which include depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Whilst corporate organisations were encouraged to have structures in place for reporting, it was however reiterated that sexual harassment is a crime and the State government reserves the right to intervene.

Similarly, DSVRT engaged over 100 Human Resource Professionals and psychologists from various corporate organisations at a workshop organized by Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA). The engagement was focussed on the impact of domestic violence (DV) on the workplace.

The participants were informed of what DV is, the negative impact of DV on survivors some of which include inability of victims to fully participate in the workforce, reduced productivity, frequent absenteeism, loss of job, potential harm to employees, co-workers and/or customers when violent abusers enter the workplace. This can be dangerous, as companies may be held liable if violence erupts on their premises.

Speaking further, Vivour-Adeniyi said a survey was conducted on the impact of DV on the workplace, and results indicated victims could not concentrate as a result of the issues they faced at home. Most of the women sampled also said they recorded a number of mistakes, felt tired at work due to sleep deprivation and were generally unable to work well. “Corporate organisations therefore need to be awakened to the reality that this and more can be hidden issues in workplace wellness and productivity and know how and when to take necessary action.”

Booklets on sexual harassment and domestic violence were also distributed and participants were reminded that the Lagos State DSVRT can be reached on 0813-796-0048 or by dialling *6820# and are always readily available to assist.


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