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Program aims to stop sexual violence and harassment in Ontario hospitality industry


December 9, 2016
By Canadian Pizza

Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association is working with Ontario-based not-for-profit training, consulting and workforce development organization OTEC to provide an advanced training and awareness program to prevent sexual violence and harassment in the hospitality industry.

The program will deliver expert knowledge through two online learning modules, five case studies on successful industry practices, one manager’s toolkit and an overall awareness-building campaign, ORHMA said in a news release.

“We are pleased to be a part of such a revolutionary program,” said Victoria Behune, president and chief executive officer of OTEC. “The training modules we are developing contain critical data and information that will help positively impact the hospitality industry.”

With the presence of sexual harassment and violence in the workplace, the “Stop It!” prevention program will allow hospitality managers and frontline workers to gain the skills and insight needed to recognize and appropriately handle high risk situations of assault and harassment. The training is funded by the Government of Ontario as part of “It’s Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment.  

“We are committed to lead an action plan of initiatives aimed to stop sexual violence and harassment in Ontario’s hospitality industry,” says Tony Elenis, President & CEO for ORHMA.  “Harassment is present in every industry and the hospitality industry is not immune to it.  We will work with our partners, key stakeholders and industry employers to create awareness, and through training, provide the necessary tools to ensure a safer workplace, respectful for all.”

In Canada, less than 10 per cent of sexual assaults are reported to the police. The training is intended to give owner-operators and human resource managers the resources and tools needed to incorporate training into operational policies and procedures in businesses, restaurants, bars, hotels, motels and entertainment venues across Ontario, the ORHMA said.