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Sexual harassment at the workplace
Prevention | Sensitization | Professionalism

#1 January 2020

About the Project

In the European Union an estimated 3 million employees are affected by sexual harassment at the workplace. The Be Aware project aims to
  • sensitize
  • offer trainings for employees and employers
  • train mentors
  • to effectively reduce risks and raise awareness.
Project partners in Austria, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Spain and Turkey develop trainings for so called Be Aware Mentors. HR managers, employee representatives or trainers shall be equipped with skills to reduce the likeliness of sexual harassment at the workplace and, if occurred, to handle it professionally.

IO1 and first outcomes published

Sexual harassment is a form of sexual violence. The term refers to one-sided, unwanted and unwelcome behaviour where sexuality and/or varied cultural constructions of sexuality are used as the means to oppress and position people and to produce or maintain vulnerability among them. The Intellectual Output 1 (IO1) consists of the definition of sexual harassment, as described above. Different terminology and definitions in the partnering countries, are compared. Furthermore, the document consists of the legal framework, comparing human rights, European law and the respective legislation in all partner countries.

The document provides examples of the handling if sexual harassment occurs. These consist of effective and best practices and of insufficient ways of dealing with the matter.

In the third part of the paper statistics show how sexual harassment is documented and which statistics are available. And the fourth part consist of the national support services in all the participating countries, giving information what employees who experience sexual harassment can do and/or how organizations can receive information and support.

Transnational Training

16 to 20 December 2019, Innsbruck

Representatives of all project partners came to Innsbruck to introduce training methods to each other’s. This forms the foundation of the further development of the trainings which will train the Be Aware Mentors.

Focus Groups

All participating partners conducted focus groups, two per country, each with participants or more, in November 2019. The aim of these was to identify the level of knowledge throughout the different groups of stakeholders. Also, to gain further needs and ideas about existing strategies to cope with the matter of sexual harassment at the workplace.
When and where do employees feel safe? What surrounding has to be created to prevent sexual harassment at the workplace?

Questions like these were asked and discussed. HR managers, workers’ representatives, employers, employees, lawyers, members of other organizations came together to share their thoughts. More than 75 people were involved.

Be Aware

Partner organizations


Frauen im Brennpunkt


Gender Alternative Foundation


Magenta Consultoria S.L.U.

Samsun Aile ve Sosyal Politikalar II Müdürlügü

Samsun Ail eve Sosyal Politikalar II Müdürlügü

Social Innovation Fund

Social Innovation Fund

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.