Sexual Harassment, Toxic and Inappropriate Behavior

The union of Quebec writers, L’Union des écrivains et écrivaines du Québec (UNEQ), has launched an awareness campaign on toxic behavior and abuse of position in the literary world.

By Raymond Viger

UNEQ says that almost one out of four writers (24%) has experienced inadequate behavior at least once. The rate jumps to 34% when women and minorities are concerned, in other words, one in three.

While looking for statistics on sexual harassment in the general population, I turned up, on the National Institutes of Health website, a study by Adams-Roy and Barling (pages 329-336) that mentions that 35 to 45% of all workers have been victims of inappropriate behavior. That’s a higher rate than among writers. Other studies talk about 8% of Quebeckers having been subject to harassment.

La Presse has published an article on inappropriate behavior in the workplace. Journalist Stéphanie Martin of La Presse Canadienne cites a Stats Can study. Over 43,000 people responded to their 2018 questionnaire. Almost one-third of all women have experienced such behavior, the same ratio as in the UNEQ study.

My conclusion: no matter where it happens, at work, in the classroom, in sports, anywhere… harassment is inacceptable everywhere.

I also conclude that this sort of behavior towards men, women, the LGBT+ community, children… is unacceptable towards anyone.

Finally, the only way to eradicate this behavior is to bring everyone together and denounce it. Let’s not break it down by category, by workplace, by region, or otherwise.

Everyone, together, let’s fight harassment.

Whether you’re a witness or a victim… stand up and denounce this behavior.

On line, one group there to help and provide information about harassment: www.gaihst.qu.ca

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