R.E.S.P.E.C.T. – Sexual Abuse in the Workplace Awareness and Prevention Program

The R.E.S.P.E.CT program focuses on changing organizational cultures around sexual harassment.

The program includes an organization wide survey measure organizational (in)tolerance of sexual harassment so as to assess a company's levels of (in)tolerance. By identifying and addressing subcultures within the organization that enable sexual abuse, a process we refer to as a cultural detox, leaders can dramatically improve employees’ experience and minimize unwanted attrition, disengagement, negative word of mouth, bad publicity that damages the company's brand reputation, supply chain risks leading to buyers boycotting your products and services and other costs associated with a toxic workplace.

Organizational (in)tolerance of sexual harassment refers to the organizational culture around sexual harassment and whether employees feel that their organization supports victims of sexual harassment and is (in)tolerant of sexual harassers.

Are you looking for assess and change workplace cultures around sexual harassment?

The R.E.S.P.E.CT. program is a solution for organizations looking to assess and change workplace cultures around sexual harassment. Whereas, prevention of sexual harassment is normally grounded in rules and policies, evidence continue to show that the existence of rules and policies alone do not eliminate or reduce instances of sexual harassment, if the prevailing corporate environment is not supportive of such policies and rules. The R.E.S.P.E.C.T. program goes beyond ordinary recourses for sexual harassment beyond official reporting mechanisms.

What are the dangers?

Affected workers may suffer sexual harassment fatigue as when employees’ continuous sexual harassment results in feelings of helplessness, anger, or an emotionless state. This fatigue, when widespread within the organization is bad for both organizations and employees. For organizations, it means that sexual harassment within the organization may continue, with attendant consequences, in terms of financial costs and reputation. For workers, fatigue may lead to a lack of upward mobility or cause them to not report harassment.

What are the effects of sexual harrassment

Sexual harassment can affect everyone because it creates an environment that makes it harder for employees to succeed. The possible effects of sexual harassment in the workplace include Emotional and Physical Issues, Professional and Financial Problems, Decreased Company Productivity, and, Lawsuits.

Emotional and Physical Issues

Victims of sexual harassment often suffer emotional and psychological harm, including stress, depression, and anxiety. They often experience decreased confidence and self-esteem. Physical health problems, such as loss of sleep and appetite, weight fluctuations, nausea, and headaches, may arise.

Professional and Financial Problems

Sexual harassment can also wreak havoc on a victim’s job performance and career trajectory. Fear and decreased confidence can cause some people to withdraw from the workplace and disengage from co-workers. They are more likely to be tardy, absent, distracted, and neglect duties. Suppose victims of sexual harassment report the harassment. In that case, they may suffer advancement setbacks such as being passed over for promotions, being left out of key meetings, retaliation, and being labeled troublemakers. Financial problems like lost wages and unpaid leave are also possible.

Decreased Company Productivity

Sexual harassment is also damaging to an organization. When a workplace is infected with discrimination and harassment, everyone suffers. The hostility created by harassment causes absenteeism, low morale, gossip, animosity, stress, and anxiety among staff. Low productivity is more common in environments with high rates of sexual harassment. Victims and witnesses of sexual harassment are more likely to quit, leading to high employee turnover and increased hiring and training costs. A toxic environment will also make recruiting top talent more difficult.

Lawsuits and Reputation

A company’s failure to adequately prevent and handle sexual harassment can result in expensive lawsuits. A highly publicized case of sexual harassment can also damage a company’s reputation, resulting in lost business.


The core message of the program is to show respect for others. Promoting the dignity and the rights of others is essential to creating and maintaining a positive, healthy, and productive workplace. The program includes case scenarios plausible in the work environment. While no training alone will put an end to sexual harassment or violence in the workplace, training and education still plays a powerful role in reducing the probability of it, helping to foster a safer, healthier workplace.


Senior leaders shape corporate culture through their actions and the example they set. They also influence culture indirectly based on the distributed leaders they hire, retain, and promote.


Middle managers and supervisors at every level in the organization can create distinctive micro-cultures, even when they are subject to the same corporate policies and other organization wide practices.


Psychological safety is critical to surfacing and rooting out toxic behavior, including sexual abuse. Employees will not provide candid feedback in an environmental that does not facilitate two way dialogue.

How the Program is Delivered

The program is delivered through immersive 2 day workshops intended for the following groups within the organization:

  • Executive and Senior Management
  • Middle Management & Supervisors
  • Employees - can be divided into groups per department in large organizations
  • External suppliers who interact with employees or supply contracted labor to the organization