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Harassment knows no bounds

When you think of a typical sexual harassment scenario, the victim is probably female and in a position of less authority than the perpetrator. You may picture a waitress being harassed by a restaurant owner. You may picture a CEO propositioning an assistant. In reality, sexual harassment is pervasive in every industry and in a remarkably wide range of situations.

Prestige is no defense

Some professions carry with them a certain respect from the general public. The medical profession is often cited as one that many people respect and admire. If you find out your new neighbor is a surgeon, you might assume she works in a professional environment, free from harassing behavior. You would likely be wrong.

A recent survey of sexual harassment in the medical field shows that the majority of female physicians in academic hospitals have been sexually harassed. The fact that they are all highly-accomplished and well-educated does not protect these women from unacceptable sexual conduct from their male colleagues.

Sexual harassment is not restricted to bars, restaurants, factories, offices or any other workplace. It is a problem everywhere, at every salary point, in every job, all across the nation. Victims who are highly educated might find their employers even less supportive than those in other professions. Holding the perpetrator accountable might force them to terminate someone with an impressive reputation or significant clout within the facility. Many employers are simply unwilling to do the right thing if that decision is expensive.

All victims of sexual harassment deserve to be believed. They deserve sympathy, but even more importantly, they deserve support in getting justice. That is true in every profession.

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Mount Laurel, NJ 08054

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