According to Alberta’s Worker’s Resource Centre, when someone faces sexual harassment on the job they often have no idea where to turn.
Government reports and surveys show that only around six per cent of sexual assaults end up being reported to the police; adding sexual harassment into a work setting with a difference in the power dynamic between the employer and employee and things get even more complicated.
While Alberta’s 211 information line is able to point someone looking for information or support in the right direction when it comes to legislation or support for victims of sexual harassment, Alberta Workers Resource Centre executive director Carolyn Krahn says that on average people still have to make four separate calls before they find the information they need.
This is where the new website HereforHelp.ca enters the conversation.
“The goal of this project is to cut down on endless searching,” said Krahn.
HereforHelp is a five-agency collaboration which allows employers or employees to search for information on managing sexual harassment in the workplace.
“It’s an anonymous way to get resources and support,” said Krahn.
“It’s a one-stop-shop.”
The website launched in June of 2023 with support from the federal Department of Justice as part of a five-year grant to cut down this “prevalent issue” in workplaces across Canada.
Krahn says that in some ways people working from home has made the issue worse, as people “feel more isolated.”
“You’re not alone,” said Krahn.
There are two separate paths to accessing the information on the website; first, there are easy-to-use menus that a user can navigate through to find the needed information; and second, there is a point-and-click pathway that will guide a user to the most applicable resource they need after answering a few simple questions.
Krahn says that a team meets monthly to review the stats, what people are searching for, and what can be done better with updates being frequently done.
While the Worker’s Resource Centre portion of the project is only funded through grants until April of 2024, the organization is “workshopping” its portion of this important resource to other potential funders so that it can remain going.
The Alberta Worker’s Resource Centre is a non-profit that helps workers deal with matters of disability or WCB claims, worker’s rights issues, and a variety of other topics.
For more information, the Worker’s Resource Centre can be found online at helpwrc.org.