Nevertheless, the Problem Persists

Even though the statistics of sexual harassment are impossible to accurately calculate and reported numbers range from as low as 25% to as high as 95% of females (a small survey even reported 100% of respondents described sexual harassment at work, on public transportation, or in public places especially streets), not to mention the rarely spoken of system of sexual violence against males and the barely addressed heights seen by sexual violence against the LGBTQ+ community. Only in a recent perfect storm of events did these reports take a spotlight in the media, from Rodeo Drive to Wall Street and even to Pennsylvania Avenue, women considered credible make accusations and a floodgate is opened for more and more victims to come forward in America and abroad. Then what? Many prevalent cases, such as Bill Cosby, are remembered and as are game-changers such as Harvey Weinstein. But how many days of news coverage do years of abuse from other men get? This demonstrates the scope and nature of the problem; once you have a droplet, you have an ocean of women with horror stories to tell. And as to the nature: we are still not at a point in society where this is thoroughly considered an unacceptable issue. Sure, nobody would make an official statement condoning sexual harassment. This tells us nothing. It is actions that defines a society’s nature, and ours is not as much in a bad way as it was only a few years ago, but there is a long road ahead.

Women who make accusations are still treated as if the wrongdoing was theirs, revictimized, interrogated like criminals, rebuked, harassed or even threatened all over again for coming forward, and ignored in some instances. In this case, “some” refers to nearly 75% of employees who report incidents or patterns of sexual harassment face retaliation. Not only does this happen in a workplace setting, it also happens on social media and in schools. Girls known to have reported sexual harassment are commonly ostracised more than their tormentors. And it’s scary that a modern world prohibits kids from being innocent in these issues. A surprising majority of people confirm their first experience with sexual harassment- first. Only the first.- occurred when they were under thirty, commonly in their teens or even as young as eleven years old. What is the core issue that makes the apple of society so rotten that those children cannot be spared experience sexual violence and it doesn’t spark any attention from media?

Thank you for reading another piece on sexual harassment. This one focuses on statistics I uncovered in my own research from several sources (including NPR and USA Today) because previous ones have been centered around my own experience. For more from me on this topic, check out this series.

…BRD…

I write poetry, prose, and personal pieces. All images are mine unless indicated otherwise. Feel free to leave feedback on my work anytime; I hope you enjoy.

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