Bureau of Justice Statistics related to the frequency of sexual violence in the workplace indicate that there are over 43,000 rapes and sexual assaults in workplaces each year. However, this data is called into question by anti-rape advocates. It is believed by many that this number is much higher because harassment is frequently not reported.
Just because someone reports harassment or even an attempted sexual assault does not mean that the issue will be addressed. There are all too frequent reports of women advising managers or employers that they were attacked and then having their stories dismissed. Numerous individuals in this position say that it was made clear that they were expendable and could easily be replaced.
For some people, the only option is to sue their employer. This was the case with several workers at a resort in Colorado. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission brought a suit against the employer of a number of individuals working in housekeeping who had reported sexual harassment and assaults and were ignored. The case was eventually settled with the resort agreeing to pay more than $1 million. The resort is also being monitored and is required to train managers on appropriate ways of handling issues related to sexual harassment.
One reason that workplace sexual harassment may not be reported when it occurs is because people may be afraid of retaliation. This can come in the form of termination, failing to promote them or treating them in a different manner from other employees. However, retaliation for reporting a problem at a workplace is illegal. People who have been victims of this type of behavior may want to have the assistance of an attorney in addressing it.