Why Victims of Sexual Harassment Do Not Report It
The issue of sexual harassment has often been swept under the rug, but when high-profile celebrities such as Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, and Senator Al Franken were accused of sexual harassment, it brought the issue to the front of many people’s mind. The #MeToo movement on Twitter and other social media outlets is further shedding light on this once taboo topic. However, despite the increased focus on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, it appears that many victims still remain silent.
Fears Keep Victims Quiet
In a survey created by CareerBuilder, private-sector workers across a variety of industries and company sizes were asked questions about sexual harassment at work. About 12 percent of all workers say that they have experienced sexual harassment while at work, but the majority of those individuals never report the inappropriate conduct. In fact, of all the people who say they have been sexually harassed at work, 72 percent have never filed a report about it. A little over half of the victims of sexual harassment have never confronted the perpetrator either. In the survey, victims of sexual harassment who had not reported the harassment cited fear of being a troublemaker, fear of losing their job, and concern about the case being their word against another’s as reasons for staying silent.
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects citizens from discrimination in the workplace and is directly applicable for companies with 15 or more employees. State, county and city laws may also offer additional protections. Sexual harassment includes behaviors such as inappropriate jokes made about a person’s appearance or sexuality, unwanted physical touch or sexual advances, forcing coworkers to view sexually-suggestive material, offering promotions or perks in exchange for sexual favors, or threatening to fire someone if they do not consent to sexual contact. Sexual harassment in the workplace can be humiliating, frightening, and confusing. No one deserves to be treated this way at work.
Let Us Help
At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC, our attorneys know how difficult it is for victims of sexual harassment to talk about the problems they are facing at their workplace. We work hard to make sure our clients are comfortable expressing themselves and help them to find the best solution to the issue they are facing. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, contact a skilled DuPage County sexual harassment lawyer. Call MKFM Law at 630-665-7300 to schedule a confidential consultation today.