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Sexual harassment not reported for multiple reasons

The harassment of women remains a problem in the United States, including in Texas. However, a survey done in 2015 showed that more than 70 percent of women did not report sexual harassment. In addition, only a few bystanders report harassment after they have witnessed it.

One of the main reasons why women do not report being harassed is that they fear retaliation. This is because some organizations tend to trivialize this type of behavior or become hostile toward a complaining victim. As a result, the complainant may end up getting into trouble at work or even ultimately lose his or her job.

The bystander effect is another reason why many people fail to report harassment. They assume that if multiple people have witnessed harassment along with them, one of these other witnesses will report it, so they do not have to do so themselves. Yet another factor that might decrease a person's likelihood of speaking up about harassment is an organization that is highly male dominated or masculine. In some businesses, men subjugate women in an effort to prove that they are masculine and relate to their male counterparts. Women who are harassed might simply play along because they want to avoid alienation from a group of men with high statuses at a company.

Sexual harassment is illegal according to federal law. Therefore, any person in Texas who experiences this type of harassment -- man or woman -- has the right to explore all of his or her legal options in an effort to hold the alleged perpetrator of the harassment accountable. These options include filing a harassment claim, with a successfully fought claim potentially leading to monetary damages and associated legal relief.

Source: hbr.org, "Why We Fail to Report Sexual Harassment", Stefanie K. Johnson, Jessica Kirk and Ksenia Keplinger, Oct. 4, 2016

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