Women in Rhode Island still face an uphill battle when it comes to being respected at work. Despite laws intended to protect people, sexual harassment has not disappeared from the workplace. Because many women feel as though they cannot report their harassers or that they will face retaliation if they do so, the actual rate of workplace sexual harassment can be difficult to pin down.
Sexual harassment is not uncommon
Regardless of age, income level or background, women across all industries are at risk for sexual harassment. Multiple studies seem to struggle to pin down the exact figure of sexual harassment, though, with some indicating the rate could be around 25% while others putting the rate closer to 75%. Some of the reasons the numbers were so different included:
- Different industries
- Different locations
- How researchers worded the questions
It does not matter whether the rate of sexual harassment is 25%, 75% or anywhere in between — even just one instance is too much. Unfortunately, male harassers often go unpunished, giving them a sense of immunity to continue acting inappropriately. Women often report feeling like harassers do not face consequences, either, which makes them feel as if they have no real recourse.
In reality, it is possible to pursue legal action against an employer who has engaged in or brushed over incidents of sexual harassment. However, victims who choose this path will have to shoulder the burden of proof. Since this can be an overwhelming process, victims in Rhode Island often find it helpful to seek guidance from a knowledgeable attorney early on in the process.