A High Court inquiry has found that six young female associates were sexually harassed by former High Court Justice Dyson Heydon. These women were the best and brightest of their cohorts and many of them have left the law since.
WIL applauds all women who gain the tremendous bravery required to speak up about their abuse and harassment despite the power their abuser wields.
We recognise that for so many women, the ability to speak up about sexual harassment and abuse is difficult to near impossible.
Chelsea Tabart, a former Heydon associate, said that she left the law after her associateship because she felt she would not be safe “from powerful men like Mr Heydon, even if I reported them”.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is extremely common. The 2018 National Survey on Sexual Harassment in the Australian Workplace was a survey of 100,000 Australians. It found that 85% of women have been sexually harassed at one point in their life and that in the 12 months prior to the survey, 23% of women said they had been sexually harassed in their workplace.
In a statement released on Monday, High Court Chief Justice Susan Kiefel said the findings were of "extreme concern" and that the women's accounts "have been believed".
"We have moved to do all we can to make sure the experiences of these women will not be repeated," Chief Justice Kiefel said.
WIL supports women who have experienced bullying and harassment and we champion those who are fighting for change.
Read more here.
By Catherine Bugler