Our workplaces should be free from unwanted behavior. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. But what behavior crosses the line? Each of the following have no place in the office, store, worksite, school, factory floor, or wherever you call work.
- Physical touching, which can quickly escalate into what the law would define as assault
- Lewd remarks or sounds
- Sexually explicit images
- Quid pro quo, which is explicitly or implicitly asking for sexual favors in exchange for some benefit, such as a raise, promotion, or avoidance of a pink slip
- Bullying, and anything else that creates a hostile/uncomfortable work environment
Unfortunately, victims of such crimes and harassment often do not report them to the police, or even a private lawyer. This is a mistake, as no one should have to endure such treatment! But why the reluctance? Here are some common reasons:
- They feel they won’t be believed. In truth, best estimates put the rate of false accusations of such behavior at around 6%1. False accusations are rare, and there’s no reason victims should feel they won’t be believed.
- They’ve told themselves it didn’t really happen, or it’s not as big of a deal as it is. According to experts, many people are not psychologically prepared to accept how prevalent harassment and assaults are, and that it would happen to them. So they look for reasons to disbelieve it happened1.
- They didn’t report the crime right away. Victims shouldn’t feel that a delay in reporting an incident should in any way damage their credibility or hurt their case. It is actually quite common in these cases for victims to take time to come to terms with what happened. This is especially true when the person that assaulted them was someone they respected or trusted.
If you have experienced harassment or assault at your workplace and are wondering how to proceed, please contact Duncan Firm for a free consultation using the form on this page, or by calling 877-638-6226.