The Secret Silent Spaces of Workplace Violence: Focus on Bullying (and Harassment)

Allison BALLARD, Patricia EASTEAL

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Any form of workplace abuse, be it bullying, sexual or non-sexual harassment, or other forms of workplace violence, represents a significant problem for both workers and organisations. The reality that worker complaints of such abuse are often silenced, frequently for long periods of time, has recently been spotlighted by the #MeToo movement. In this article we focus particularly on workplace bullying (some definitions include harassment). We explore how potential, and actual, complaints of such abuse may silenced—both before complaints are ever made, and also at different points along the complaint or dispute resolution process. We investigate how definitional and naming issues, worker ignorance and incapacity, workplace investigations, (alternative) dispute resolution and the legal pathways available to targets of workplace bullying and harassment may act to silence complaints. We also provide some practical suggestions for the targets of workplace abuse.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2018


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