Sexual harassment and assault are serious public health and safety problems around the world affecting the health and well-being of people of all genders and ages. In this article, we review some important facts about sexual harassment, rape, and assault, including their definitions, how common they are, and the impact they have on victims.
The legal definition of sexual harassment, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), is that “Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when:
In sexual harassment, both the victim and the harasser can be of any gender, and the victim does not have to be of the opposite sex. The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a co-worker, an employee in another office, a client, or a customer.
Sexual harassment in education is addressed under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
According to this law, rape is committing a sexual act upon another person by doing any of the following:
Sexual assault is defined as committing a sexual act upon another person by doing any of the following:
Sexual acts under any of the following conditions are also considered sexual assault:
In the United States, sexual assault is a common crime taking place nearly every minute.
Additionally, 1 in 4 women and about 1 in 26 men have experienced completed or attempted rape. About 1 in 9 men were made to penetrate someone during his lifetime. And 1 in 3 women and about 1 in 9 men experienced sexual harassment in a public place.
Almost half of female rape survivors were first raped before age 18. About 4 in 10 male rape survivors were first made to penetrate as a minor.
Only 310 out of every 1,000 sexual assaults are reported to the police.
Survivors who do report sexual assaults list the following reasons for doing so:
Survivors list the following reasons for not reporting a sexual assault:
The lifetime cost of rape is $122,461 per survivor, including medical costs, lost productivity, criminal justice activities, and other costs. Additionally, 81% of women and 35% of men report significant short-term or long-term impacts such as post-traumatic stress disorder.
If you are a survivor of sexual assault, harassment, or rape, it is likely that you have paid a terrible cost as a result of the crime you experienced. To this end, it is important that you know of the possibility of filing a civil lawsuit in order to pursue compensation and justice. You may be able to recover a variety of damages including:
To receive a case review and learn about your options, contact an experienced sexual assault lawyer.