As the country celebrates Labor Day weekend and the unofficial end of summertime, we take a moment to pause and reflect on the impact that our mission to prevent sexual violence and promote healing has very real impacts in work places too. Sexual harassment, sexual assault, and workplace violence affect survivors of all genders and have major costs and consequences each year. Locally, we seen the impacts of of these forms of institutional violence in government, schools, and small and large businesses.
According to Workplaces Respond, “[workplace sexual violence] includes any sexual act or behavior in the workplace that is perpetuated against another’s will when they did not, or cannot, consent. Consent is not given when a harasser uses force, harassment, threat of force, threat of adverse personnel action, coercion, or when the victim is asleep, incapacitated or unconscious.”
These forms of violence have very real consequences for for survivors and the workplace.
- 80% of women who have been harassed leave their jobs within 2 years.
- Women are 9x more likely to quit, 5x more likely to transfer, and 3x more likely than men to lose their jobs because of harassment.
- The average cost to companies who ignore sexual harassment is up to $6.7 million per year, due to low productivity & morale, turnover, and absenteeism.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is a behavior motivated by power and control. This is why unknown/unused policies, one-off training, and unresponsive management have very little impact on deterring sexual harassment in the workplace.
Survivors of sexual violence in the workplace have a range of options, including reporting the incident to management or law enforcement, journaling behaviors including statements, dates, times, locations and observers, reporting to the EEOC or PHRC, pursuing a sexual violence protection or, or getting no-cost counseling, therapy, or advocacy support through sexual assault centers like SARCC. Are you interested learning more or talking through the benefits, risks, and impacts of these options? Contact our hotline or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected.
Resource of the Week: Workplaces Respond: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace