Why Do Some Victims of Sexual Harassment Delay in Reporting?

sexual harassmentSexual Harassment – A recent Harris Poll showed that 72% of those who had been sexual harassed did not report the incident. Fear of job loss or worried that “he said/she said” would go nowhere were some of the reasons for failing to make a report.

The Poll Figures

Looking at who has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, more than 1 in 10 workers (12 percent) say they have, with women (17 percent) more likely to feel harassed than men (7 percent), and 17 percent of those ages 18-34 report feeling sexually harassed at work compared to those 35-44 (11 percent), 45-54 (10 percent) or 55+ (9 percent).

A Problem Across the Board

When asked who they were harassed by, employees pointed to a number of statuses and positions. Twenty-eight percent of those who have felt sexually harassed at work said they were sexually harassed by their boss, and nearly 2 in 5 (37 percent) said they were sexually harassed by more than one person. Overall, those who felt harassed said the person(s) responsible for the harassment held these positions: Peer: 60 percent, Manager or supervisor: 36 percent, Client: 9 percent, Senior management: 8 percent, Vendor: 5 percent, Direct report: 3 percent (with some overlapping).

Does Anything Change?

Those who did not report the sexual harassment most often did not because they didn’t want to be labeled a troublemaker (40 percent), said it was their word against the other person (22 percent) or were afraid of losing their job (18 percent). On the other hand, of those who did report it, 76 percent said the issue was resolved – 29 percent said the person stopped the harassment and 21 percent said the person was fired.

While most stick it out, 13 percent of those harassed said they left their job because of it.

Three Tips if You Are Harassed

  1. Write down the time, place and what was said on a log you don’t leave at work or on a work computer.
  2. Tell a co-worker what happened each time it happens.
  3. Call us. We can counsel you on what to say and do before you go to H.R.

If you believe you have been the victim of sexual harassment, you should consult an experienced sexual harassment lawyer at Douglas, Leonard & Garvey, P.C.   Call us at 1-800-240-1988 or fill out our online contact form.


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