Sexual harassment of LGBT people in the workplace
- Disabled LGBT people’s experiences
Disabled people reported significantly higher levels of sexual harassment than non-disabled people.
The research found that disabled men reported significantly higher levels of sexual harassment than non-disabled men and non-disabled women across all aspects of sexual harassment.
Disabled women reported significantly higher levels of sexual harassment than both disabled men and non-disabled men and women across most areas. However, there were three types of harassment where disabled men experienced higher levels than disabled women. Those were:
- hearing colleagues make comments of a sexual nature about a straight colleague (56 per cent compared to 54 per cent* of disabled women)
- hearing colleagues make comments of a sexual nature about a lesbian/gay woman, gay man, bisexual or trans colleague (60 per cent compared to 55 per cent* of disabled women)
- displays of pornographic photographs or drawings in the workplace (32 per cent compared to 29 per cent* of disabled women).
Figure 7: Disabled women's experiences
Disabled women were:
- around twice as likely to report unwanted touching (50 per cent* disabled women, 26 per cent* non-disabled women),
- more than twice as likely to report sexual assault (38 per cent* vs 14 per cent*) and
- six times more likely to experience serious sexual assault or rape (24 per cent* vs 4 per cent*).
These higher rates of sexual harassment and assault in our research reflect previous studies which showed that disabled women and girls experience gender-based violence at disproportionately higher rates and in unique forms owing to discrimination and stigma based on both gender and disability.
Figure 8: Disabled men's experiences
Disabled men’s reported levels of sexual harassment and assault were lower than those of disabled women but significantly higher than non-disabled men. Disabled men were almost:
- three times more likely to report unwanted touching when compared to non-disabled men (32 per cent compared to 11 per cent)
- five times more likely to report unwanted sexual assault than non-disabled men (28 per cent compared to six per cent)
- seven times more likely to report serious sexual assault and rape that non-disabled men (twenty per cent compared to three per cent.).