COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA)- It’s a topic making headlines across the nation following the accusations of sexual harassment against some high profile people prompting many to ask the question “Do you know what to do if it happens to you?”
Each year more than 6,000 harassment complaints are filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and despite a slight decrease over the past few years, it’s still a big issue of concern.
One of the chairs of the business department at University of South Carolina explained the correlation between number of complaints and high profile cases. “When Bill Clinton was accused you saw an increase the following year in the number of complaints. What’s going on right now is the Harvey Weinstein debacle, that was so blatantly obvious as to the nature of harassment,” said Patrick Wright, the Thomas C. Vandiver Bicenntial Chair in Business.
But not every victim of sexual harassment is aware that the behavior they may be seeing is inappropriate. WSPA 7News spoke with one lady, who recapped some of her experiences during employment. “They’re just innuendos, it starts out to just be small talk, but the longer they know you it just seems to get a little more personal,” said Kaye Webb.
Sexual harassment isn’t just physical, it can also include sexist remarks. And women aren’t the only victims of sexual harassment, about 9% of the complaints filed with the EOC last year were actually against women.
“Whether it’s sexist remarks or crude and vulgar language makes it so difficult for someone to work in that environment and actually has a negative impact on their well being or job performance,” added Wright.
One challenge many victims face is actually reporting the sexual harassment, for some it’s a tough decision to make. There was a total of 6,758 sexual harassment complaints filed last year. 16% were filed by men.