Monday, July 22, 2024

This free program for Victoria’s hospitality sector to combat sexualized violence and harassment

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Victoria’s bars, breweries, and restaurants will now have a new tool in their hands to educate employees on and prevent workplace sexual harassment and violence.

Training in Prevention and Safety (TIPS) is a voluntary and free program for everyone working in Victoria’s  hospitality industry. Managers, employers, owners and employees are intended to take the program to ensure safety from top to bottom within a business. 

The program was developed by End Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) and Good Night Out Vancouver (GNOV) and is funded by the City of Victoria and Justice Canada.

What prompted the creation and implementation of this program was a 2019 motion passed by the city council for sexualized violence prevention training intended for employers and staff of bars, restaurants, and hospitality organizations.

Studies show that two-in-five (43%) workers in the hospitality industry will experience sexualized violence or harassment. Bars and clubs being the top two reported locations where unwanted sexual behaviour occurs in Canada. 

Of those who have experienced workplace sexual harassment, women make up 52% of victims.

“This initiative is a step in the right direction to prevent sexualized violence in Victoria. The work started in 2019 but was really elevated by the voices of survivors and hospitality industry leaders,” said City of Victoria Councillor Jeremy Loveday in a media release. 

“Public safety begins with education, and we are grateful for the collaboration of GNO and EVA to develop this free training for the hospitality industry.” 

EVA BC say TIPS goal is to increase awareness of how to recognize workplace sexual harassment, teach the best practices to protect staff/customers from harassment, developing policies and procedures for their protection.

They also look to increase confidence for bystanders to intervene and to have all levels of employment gain a comprehensive understanding of legal requirements, and how to respond to and investigate incidents.

The intention of this initiative is to create a shared responsibility of accountability among all levels of employment within a business in the hospitality industry.

There are two versions of the TIPS program–one for employees and one for employers, owners, managers, and supervisors.

To complete the training, which is available now, EVA BC’s website has access to the TIPS program.

mm
Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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