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Deterrents to reporting sexual harassment

There is a good chance workers in Florida who have experienced, or are currently experiencing, sexual harassment do not report it. Even after the #metoo movement, there are many women and men who still will not come forward. The reasons for this vary, but they are common, and it is hard to know what it will take for more to report this behavior.

According to the Huffington Post, fear of the consequences is one of the biggest reasons people do not report sexual harassment. In many cases, the victim does not want to do anything to jeopardize the job. If the victim is younger and just starting out in his or her career, it is even harder to make the decision to tell someone about the harassment. Women especially, but also men, will choose to put it aside or shrug it off until another job opportunity opens up.

Psychology Today discusses that a main reason people do not say anything is because of shame. The victim has feelings of unworthiness and may blame him or herself or take responsibility for the harasser's actions. Unfortunately, when someone does report inappropriate behavior, the victim's dress, behavior or amount of alcohol imbibed is often part of the inquisition.

A victim may also feel helpless either in the reporting process or in terms of support. It may seem useless to go to human resources, especially in male-dominated industries. Other reasons victims do not report include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • They have a history of sexual violation
  • Victims are unsure of what constitutes sexual harassment
  • Vague memories due to drugs or alcohol
  • Minimization and denial 

 

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