Sexual Harassment:

Sexual Harassment Misconceptions

Myth: Workers who dress a certain way or send “signals” are asking for sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment can be a traumatic experience. Defenses such as “she wore short skirts” or “he enjoyed the attention” generally do not hold up in court.

Myth: If a worker wanted to end the sexual harassment, they would do so.

In many cases, the sexual harassment victim is being threatened with a loss of their job or a bad evaluation. In addition, sexual harassment victims are often pursued even after they have said “no.”

Myth: If the victim ignores the harassment, it will eventually end.

Ignoring harassing behavior in hopes that it will go away is not an effective solution. Only 29% of women who ignored sexual harassment said that it helped. However, more than 60% of female sexual harassment victims stated that telling the harasser to stop was the most effective solution.

Myth: Only women can be sexually harassed; all harassers are male.

Although the majority of sexual harassment claims are from women, men can also be sexually harassed by both sexes. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) states that 11% of sexual harassment complaints are from men who have been harassed by their female bosses. Additionally, the number of women being sexually harassed by other women is on the rise.

Myth: Most sexual harassment claims are exaggerated. In most cases, the “harassment” is just harmless flirting.

Studies show that most cases of sexual harassment do not involve flirtation or sincere romantic interests. Sexual harassment is mostly about power, control and punishment. Studies suggest that some sexual harassment victims are forced to leave their jobs to avoid the harassment, while others suffer severe emotional trauma.

Myth: In today’s society, instances of workplace sexual harassment are declining.

While many would like to believe that sexual harassment is a problem of the past, the EEOC still receives 15,000 sexual harassment claims each year. Approximately 40% to 70% of working females claim that they have been sexually harassed. Up to 20% of men have also experienced sexual harassment at work.

Myth: When people work in close quarters, sexual harassment is inevitable.

While interactions between co-workers are foreseeable, unwanted sexual advances are not inevitable.

Myth: A perpetrator must have sexual intentions toward their target for the actions to be considered sexual harassment.

Workplace sexual harassment is a type of discrimination and abuse, most likely an abuse of authority. The perpetrator’s motivation does not change this fact.

If you have been sexually harassed at work, a sexual harassment attorney can explain your rights and assess your options. He or she can determine whether the harassing behavior constitutes sexual harassment. If so, you may be eligible to collect compensation for your suffering. To receive a free case evaluation, simply fill out our legal case review form today.

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