If you are a woman who has not experienced sexual harassment, count yourself lucky. You are in the vast minority. That’s how common harassment is in the modern day. It’s not something that happens occasionally to a few individuals. It’s something that happens all the time and that most women have experienced.
One study, reported on by NPR, claimed that 81% of all women asked had had these experiences.
This number was so surprising because many other polls and research projects while admitting that it happened, used far smaller numbers. The jump to 81% could indicate that modern women are more willing to talk about these experiences and admit what has happened to them. Unfortunately, many felt shame or blamed themselves in the past and so they would stay silent. It would be wonderful to break down this unfair stigma surrounding sexual harassment in order to expose how common the problem is and what can be done to correct it.
While sexual harassment is more commonly experienced by women, it’s not exclusively something their gender has to deal with. Men also admitted to being victimized by sexual harassment, but it was far less common: Just 43%.
The most common type of harassment was verbal, at 77% for women and 34% for men. After that came unwelcome touching, which still happened to a majority of women, at 51%, and to 17% of men. Cyber harassment is also an issue. For men, it’s more common than unwelcome touching, at 22%. For women, it ranks third, at 41%.
Sexual harassment in your workplace is never okay. If you have experienced sexual harassment at work, you need to know what rights you have.