Despite the prevalence of sexual harassment incidents at the workplace, most cases go unreported. The official statistics on record are just the tip of the iceberg. Victims downplay or choose not to make a formal report of their sexual harassment instances for various reasons.
Given that the average American spends about a third of their life working, it is necessary to safeguard your rights at the workplace. They include a right to a safe working environment, free from any form of harassment.
Why do most sexual harassment cases go unreported?
Below are some of the reasons many workplace sexual harassment cases do not get reported.
- The victim may blame themselves and feel like they should have done something to stop it. Feelings of guilt compounded with having to explain the whole incident may prevent someone from speaking out. In addition, the victim may think no one will believe them and choose to remain silent.
- The victim may not know who to report their case to at the workplace. Bureaucracies and lack of proper channels through which employees can make formal reports of such cases may be to blame. This is especially true in organizations without an HR department. On top of that, a workplace culture that does not support victims of sexual harassment or covers for the perpetrators may stop someone from speaking up.
- Fear of retaliation is also a significant contributor. Employees may think that they will lose their job or prevent a promotion if they report a sexual harassment case at work.
Protect your rights
The law is clear on your rights as an employee. If you are a victim of sexual harassment at your workplace, it is vital to make an informed decision regarding the steps of action to take. Learning more about what sexual harassment entails will ensure your rights are protected, and justice is served.