Are women the only victims of sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is a major issue at a wide-variety of workplaces throughout Massachusetts and across the country. If you have been the unfortunate recipient of an unwelcomed comment, touch, suggestion or proposition, you know that it can make the workplace awkward and an uncomfortable environment to get the job done. In some cases, sexual harassment can be so severe that you may be unable to move up the corporate ladder or be forced to quit your job because of the abuse. As a victim of harassment, you may be threatened that if you do not perform the unwanted act or accept the harassment, you may lose your position or standing with the company.

While many people believe that sexual harassment involves a man abusing a woman, this is not always the case. In a world of equal rights, women too can be abusers and instigators when it comes to sexual harassment. According to data supplied by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 16.3 % of sexual harassment complaints came from men in 2012, which has increased from 11% of complaints made in 1997, and the numbers are still climbing. In fact, many cases involving both men and women abusers go unreported because some people may be embarrassed or afraid to report the incidents.  This is especially true for men, who may be more afraid to admit they are victims of abuse. There are also cases of women abusing women and men abusing men.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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