MPs Are Finally Getting Anti-Sexual Assault Training… But It’s Optional
It's also only an hour long.
The Federal Government is seeking an organisation to train MPs about sexual assault, harassment and bullying. The training will only last an hour and be optional, according to the ABC. By contrast, junior staffers will attend a potentially mandatory two-hour session.
The need for training was established following the slate of sexual assault allegations earlier this year – including that of former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins – all of which sparked national rallies against this kind of bullshit.
Following Higgins’ allegations, Prime Minister Scot Morrison established a review of procedures “in identifying, reporting and responding to serious incidents that occur during parliamentary employment.” This training is part of a “trauma-informed support system” in response to the review.
the sole existence of sexual harassment training is genuinely a disturbing reflection of how sexual violence has been enabled and not rightfully condemned in our common practices.
— René Hà (@reneshaf) July 14, 2021
The anti-sexual harassment training won’t start until September, will be done face-to-face and use practical examples. Trainers will need to “demonstrate adaptability and flexibility, given differences across parliamentary offices and differing levels of awareness”.
Do they really need training for “don’t rape” and “don’t sexually harass” or do they need a criminal investigation including an independent anti-corruption watchdog with powers to 🥾 out of parliament (or the court systems it seems) if they commit those crimes and any others…
— Christopher Stubenrauch (@ChrisTheMicrobe) July 14, 2021
By the end of the course, students should ultimately understand what does and doesn’t constitute “assault, sexual assault, sexual harassment and serious and systemic bullying and harassment.”
It will also address how to prevent, report, and support someone impacted. Apparently pilot sessions are already taking place in parliamentary offices.
The public should be informed of those that do not attend.
— Dan (@Trismegistos4) July 14, 2021
This is not the first time we’ve heard of MPs needing training in… ah, general decency? Earlier this year, Andrew Lamming, member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland, was prescribed with empathy training, after repeatedly harassing women IRL and online. Lamming was temporarily stood down, and made to apologise.
But is one hour of optional training enough to fix what some have called a toxic culture?
Re the optional anti-sexual harassment training for parliamentarians. Trainers were informed attendees will have little awareness.
THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE THE LAWS IN THE COUNTRY HAVE LITTLE AWARENESS OF WHAT CONSTITUTES SEXUAL ASSAULT AND HARASSMENT. pic.twitter.com/B27G24x7v6
— Emma (@emma__jayne14) July 14, 2021
Well that’ll fix it. Problem solved!
— matty (@GusGguuss) July 15, 2021