There’s been a lot of attention focused on workplace sexual harassment over the past few years. Yet knowing it goes on is not enough to stop it.
For that, people need to report it. Unfortunately, research shows that the vast majority of people never do.
Only 0.02% of workplace sexual harassment is reported
That’s a shocking figure. While there are obviously some people (the perpetrators) who do not want to see incidents reported, the majority of people should. So why aren’t more people doing so? Here are a few possibilities;
They are scared
The fear of retaliation is enough to make many people stay quiet about something they disapprove of. It applies to those who suffer the harassment as well as colleagues who witness it. Remember that anyone can report it, not just the person being harassed.
While employers are not allowed to retaliate against someone for reporting something like harassment, some still do so. The person doing the harassing might also take action if they think you told on them, especially if they are in a position of power that allows them to make a decision, such as firing you or giving you a bad performance review.
They don’t understand when an action constitutes harassment
Many people, especially older individuals, will have seen certain behaviors going on for years. They may have seen workers brush sexist comments or actions aside, so they figure they are not actually an issue.
Sexual harassment covers a lot more things than many people realize. If you believe you have been harassed at work, seek legal help to understand your options.