It’s commonly stated that sexual harassment in the workplace is under-reported. For as many stories as you actually hear about people coming forward, there are many more who decline to do so. This means that the problem is much worse than it appears at any given moment.
What you may be wondering is why this happens. People often say this when someone comes out with an account years after the fact. Why didn’t they speak up sooner? Why do they keep quiet?
They’re worried about the ramifications
Those who ask this question are severely misinterpreting the situation, or they just do not have any grasp of what these individuals are honestly going through. Maybe it’s never happened to them. Maybe they just haven’t taken the time to think about it carefully.
But the simple fact of the matter is that a lot of these workers are worried about the ramifications of making a report. They think that speaking up is just going to cost them their job. They’re worried about being blacklisted, fired or otherwise discriminated against.
Essentially, they worry that making the report is just going to make their life and their career worse. They’ll still have to live with the harassment, but now they won’t have an income or they’ll have other sorts of issues. They don’t come forward because they’re trying to avoid this negative outcome.
Retaliation is illegal
For this reason, it’s very important to understand that sexual harassment is illegal and retaliation for a report is also illegal. Those who are facing these issues need to know about all of their legal options.