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Study: 'Passive' sexual harassment victims are 'double-victimized' at work

An interesting study has found that women who are sexually harassed are often "double victimized" by friends, coworkers and others who think that the woman somehow "asked for it" or did not do enough to prevent the sexual harassment from occurring.

We know it is only one study, but its findings are surprising and alarming enough that they should prompt all Michigan residents to reassess their views and ask themselves whether their attitude towards victims of sexual harassment is outdated.

The study was performed by a professor at the University of Utah. She found that "passive" victims of sexual harassment -- those who did not report or respond to incidents of harassment quickly -- were often blamed and ostracized by coworkers.

The professor described sexual harassment as bad for women and bad for work environments. She pointed out that stigmatizing workers who did nothing wrong removes their talent, creativity and energy from the workplace for absolutely no good reason.

Sexual harassment is not acceptable anywhere, let alone in the workplace. Sadly, we see far too many clients who have legitimate claims for sexual harassment against their supervisors or workplaces. Sexual harassment is a social ill that should not persist, but does.

If you are interested in more information on this area of law, you could visit the Sexual Harassment portion of our website. Consulting a variety of materials would be best, of course, so hopefully our website will be one of the more useful items you consult as you gather more information.

Source: Utah Policy, "Study Shows Sexual Harassment Leads to Double-Victimization in the Workplace," Nov. 8. 2012

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