Workplace harassment often comes with silence

Women throughout the country are starting to have their voices heard when it comes to harassment. However, it's important to remember that a Tennessee workplace isn't necessarily free of abuse just because complaints aren't made. A national study found that 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men had experienced sexual assault or other forms of harassment at some point. Many victims still don't report abuse due to fear of retaliation.

Breaking the silence has had many positive results. Awareness of sexual assault and harassment in the workplace has risen, and many serial abusers have finally been brought to justice after years or even decades of misconduct. In addition, the population in general is having more open conversations about the issue. Unfortunately, this has lead to some organizations claiming that they can't have a problem if no one is talking.

Complaints aren't only impacted by the amount of abuse occurring. Victims often remain silent because they fear retaliation, feel like they won't be listened to or don't think anything will be done to solve the problem. Silence could actually indicate a work environment that protects abusers by not doing enough to empower victims. Organizations earnest about stopping abuse will listen to harassment claims and investigate the situation thoroughly.

Men or women who experience sexual harassment could seek the advice and support of a lawyer. A law practice that focuses on workplace abuses can carefully evaluate the circumstances of a case and recommend a course of action that best represents the interests of the victim. In some cases, the situation can be resolved without going to court. However, pursuing a lawsuit is sometimes necessary. A legal professional can be an advocate for the victim every step of the way.

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