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How common is sexual harassment at work?

People might think that in this day and age, sexual harassment at work has decreased. Unfortunately, this is not the case. In fact, a significant portion of the working population has reported being sexually harassed. Both men and women face unwanted actions while at work.

This may be due to a broadening definition of sexual harassment. Not all sexual harassment involves physical altercations or directly explicit comments. People face all types of sexually-based harassment at work, and no forms of it should be tolerated.

Study results

More recent studies found that 81 percent of women reported being sexually harassed. Additionally, 43 percent of men also experienced at least one form of sexual harassment. Thirty-eight percent of women reported that they experienced this harassment while at work.

These numbers suggest that sexual harassment is larger problem than people may have originally thought. Further, it is a problem that is persistent and continuing, even in today’s more progressive age.

What is harassment?

This study expanded on sexual harassment and included a larger number of examples of harassment. Sexual harassment is not limited to unwanted physical touch or lewd comments. In fact, sexual harassment includes a broad variety of actions, some of which are more subtle than others.

Other examples of harassment can include:

  • Following someone around
  • Digital-based harassment (i.e. being sent graphic photos or repeated and unwanted texts or emails)
  • Sexually based jokes (directed or not directed at a specific person)
  • Kissing, hugging or otherwise unwanted touching
  • Derogatory or offensive gestures and facial expressions
  • Staring at a person’s body
  • Spreading rumors or gossiping about a person’s sexual activities
  • Requesting dates or other sexually-based favors

What should you do?

If you faced any of these examples of harassment at work, do not hesitate to fight back. There are a number of steps you can take to stop the attacks and get justice.

You may want to document all instances of harassment or otherwise inappropriate behavior. Talking to an employment attorney can help you figure out your situation and stand up for yourself.

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