More and more high-profile women are breaking their silence and coming forward with allegations of sexual harassment. Earlier this year, Grammy-winning singer Taylor Swift won a sexual harassment case against former disc jockey David Mueller, claiming that he groped her while they posed for photos. Swift was awarded a symbolic $1, having fought the case not for money but to be an example to other women. Swift acknowledged her privilege in having the money to take on such a fight.
Swift wasn’t the only celebrity to stand up against harassment this year. Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson filed a suit against the network last July, speaking out publically on being repeatedly sexual harassed. Her case opened a floodgate of harassment allegations, causing Fox News’ parent company 21st Century Fox to pay out approximately $50 million.
Then there was Harvey Weinstein. The Hollywood producer stands accused of sexually harassing numerous women over the course of his career. As more and more women have come forward as victims, the case has inspired many women in industries outside of Hollywood to come forward with accusations of sexual harassment.
Why Women Have Been Silent
These new reports of sexual harassment beg to ask the question, “What took so long for women to stand up to their harassers?” There are a number of reasons why women stay silent including:
- Fear of Retaliation – Many women do not report sexual harassment because they fear retaliation from the harasser or organization. Studies have found that sexual harassment can be trivialized by businesses and can result in hostility or retaliation against the victim.
- A Highly Masculine Culture – Industries where sexual harassment is swept under the rug are often male-dominated or have a highly masculine culture. In these environments, some men use the subjugation of women as a way to relate to other men and prove their masculinity, while reinforcing a woman’s status. At the same time, women who want to be part of a high-status group may play along in an effort to be accepted.
How to Help Victims
As more women come forward with allegations of sexual harassment, they are also helping by giving others the strength to come forward as well. Here is how you can help someone who has been a victim of sexual harassment:
- Listen to what they say and ask how you can help before doing anything
- Never blame them for what happened and let them know that it wasn’t their fault
- Maintain confidentiality
- Help them find an expert sexual harassment lawyer
Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Help Victims of Sexual Harassment
If you or a loved one is the victim of sexual harassment, contact a Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyer at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Call 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free consultation.