#MeToo Still: New National Study Shows 8 of 10 Women Have Been Harassed

The percent of women who are sexually harassed is the same as the percent of Americans eating at a fast food restaurant once a month. That’s 8 in 10.More than 81 percent of women report some form of sexual harassment in their lifetime, with harassment most often happening in public or at their workspace.These are only some of the alarming statistics in a new national study, “Behind The #MeToo Movement,” authored by Holly Kearl, founder of Stop Street Harassment.The online study of 1,000 men and 1,000 women was an effort by Stop Street Harassment. an international  nonprofit organization; The Center on Gender Equity at University of California-San Diego and Raliance, a national collaborative committed to ending sexual violence in one generation.[bctt tweet=“The percent of women who are sexually harassed is the same as the percent of Americans eating at a fast food restaurant once a month. That’s 8 in 10. #MeToo” username=“takeleadwomen”]“The findings show that this is a pervasive problem and permeates all sectors of our lives,” Kearl told NPR. “Most people who said they had experienced sexual harassment experienced it in multiple locations.“The number of women experiencing sexual harassment at 81 percent is nearly double the reporting of men, at 43 percent. The study also shows more than three in four women or 77 percent experienced verbal sexual harassment. The study shows 62 percent of women report physically aggressive forms of sexual harassment.More than one-third, or 38 percent of women report they have been sexually harassed in the workplace. The greatest percentage, or 66 percent experience sexual harassment in a public space.[bctt tweet=“More than one-third, or 38 percent of women report they have been sexually harassed in the workplace. #womenintheworkplace” username=“takeleadwomen”]Women ages 25 to 34 were the most likely to report experiencing nearly all forms of sexual harassment and assault, while women in the 65+ category were the least likely to report experiencing sexual harassment. Overall, there was little difference based on annual household income for sexual harassment for both women and men. Women earning $50,000 to $74,900 were the most likely to experience sexual harassment.Half of the women surveyed said they were sexually touched in an unwelcome way. Roughly four in 10 women report cyber sexual harassment. Fewer white women experience online harassment, or 33 percent, compared to other racial groups with 46 percent women of color saying they have experience online sexual harassment.Women in the 25 to 34-year-old category were the most likely to report experiencing nearly all forms of sexual harassment and assault, while women in the 65+ category were the least likely to report experiencing sexual harassment.More than half of the respondents, or 57 percent, say they were 17 years old when they experience sexual harassment for the first time. By the time respondents were 22 years old, this was true for nearly three-fourths of women, or 71 percent.So now what?According to Time, Jodi Kantor, one of the New York Times investigative reporters who broke the Harvey Weinstein scandal that morphed into the #MeToo movement, recently addressed what comes next at the Watermark Conference for Women in Silicon Valley.“The question I want you to ask yourselves is what will we tell our grandchildren about this period we just lived through? Are we going to say ‘It was kind of strange… All of sudden there was all of this attention to this issue, we watched as man after man lost his job, and then our attention changed, the issue went away, we stopped talking about it’? Or are we going to be able to say to our grandchildren, ‘I was there when the walls came down’?”In another survey, USA Today released a report along with The Creative Coalition, Women in Film and Television and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, following a survey of  “843 women who work in the entertainment industry in a variety of roles (producers, actors, writers, directors, editors and others) and asked them about their experiences with sexual misconduct. Nearly all of the women who responded to the survey (94 percent) say they have experienced some form of harassment or assault, often by an older individual in a position of power over the accuser.”A new docu series inspired by #MeToo and other issues including the gender pay gap is spearheaded by Jennifer Lawrence and Catt Sandler and in development.The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission shows that the number of cases reported to the EEOC fell more than 40 percent from 1997 to 2017, from a total of 16,000 to 9,600, according to the Harvard Business Review.Records show fewer younger white women reported claims, while more older women and women of color reported sexual harassment.“At the peak of sexual harassment claims in mid-1996, the EEOC was receiving more than 200 complaints per month from white women, and about 50 complaints per month from African-American women. In 2016, there were about 60 complaints per month from white women; and about 50 per month from African-American women,” writes Dan Cassino, associate professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson University, in HBR.“This data suggests that the steep decline in sexual harassment claims made to the EEOC left behind African-American women almost entirely. The EEOC didn’t reliably collect data on Hispanic employees until 2008, but it appears that the rates of sexual harassment reports among Hispanic women have also failed to share in the large decline enjoyed by white women,” Cassino writes.Strategies to address harassment in the workplace are urgent, many say, and one factor is the cost of harassment to a company.[bctt tweet=“Strategies to address harassment in the workplace are urgent. One factor is the cost of #harassment to a company.” username=“takeleadwomen”]According to the EEOC, employees who had made sexual harassment complaints received a record $46.3 million in monetary compensation in 2017, up 13.8 percent from 2016, the Los Angeles Times reports.“Here’s what doesn’t work — relying solely on compliance rules, education and training — to prevent or address sexual harassment, “Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president and chief executive of the Society for Human Resource Management, told the Los Angeles Times. “We could demand that every employee take 10 hours of sexual harassment training every week and accusations would still happen.”