Sexual harassment is across the board awful, but it's particularly troubling when it interferes with how you make a living. If you've been sexually harassed at work, you know the fear and anger that comes with seeing your harasser on a daily basis or reporting the behavior and wondering how HR will handle it. The good news? You're not alone. The bad news? You're not alone — because way too many women have experienced sexual harassment on the job.
As a writer at a now defunct music magazine in my early 20s, I was sexually harassed by the editor-in-chief who refused to let female journalists go on tour buses because he didn't want them to have sex with the bands. I mean, every woman in music journalism is only there for the sex, right? After he once joked that I should send him nude pictures and I didn't, he told me I would fail as a writer and he would make sure no one would ever hire me again. Fast forward 10 years, and he's disappeared into obscurity while I'm still here. It's a tiny triumph, but when it occurred I actually believed that he would ruin my reputation so bad I would have to change careers. The worst part? I got off lucky, and my story is hardly unique.
Here are five depressing statistics about sexual harassment at work:
1. 60 Percent Of Women Have Received Unwanted Sexual Attention At Work
Fast Company recently reported on a poll taken at SXSW this week which found that two thirds of women said they had experienced "unwanted sexual attention" at work.
2. 1 In 3 Women Have Been Sexually Harassed At Work
A survey of 2,235 women by Cosmopolitan found that one third between the ages of 18 and 34 had been sexually harassed at work at some point in their careers.
3. Over 90 Percent Of Women In The Service Industry Have Been Sexually Harassed At Work
A 2014 report by the Restaurant Opportunities Center revealed the epidemic of sexual harassment that female servers experience working in restaurants. Over 90 percent of the 688 surveyed who work or have worked for tips said they feel forced to "curry favor" with their customers, which often means dealing with whatever inappropriate behavior they dish out.
4. 70 Percent Of Women Don't Report Their Harassment
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 70 percent of women who experience sexual harassment at their jobs don't report it for fear it will cause negative repercussions both personally and professionally.
5. Over 43,000 Workplace Rapes And Assaults Occur Every Year
The Bureau of Justice cites that over 43,000 rapes and assaults occur in the workplace every year. This vile statistic is likely ever larger, given how many people don't feel safe enough to report these crimes.
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