Half Of British Women Have Been Sexually Harassed In The Workplace Or A Place Of Study

In the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, we're finding out the true scale of the problem

Half Of British Women Have Been Sexually Harassed In The Workplace Or A Place Of Study

by Lauren Rice |

A ComRes poll for BBC Radio 5 live has revealed the true extent to which women in the UK have faced sexual harassment in the workplace or in a place of learning.

The poll, which surveyed over 2,000 people, was conducted after sexual assault claims against Harvey Weinstein from more than 24 women including actresses, Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, led to a widespread sharing of sexual harassment stories particularly on Twitter under the hashtag #MeToo to highlight the issue worldwide.

The results revealed that 63% of women who said they had been harassed at work or a place of study said they didn’t report it. The survey also revealed that a fifth of men said they have been sexually harassed at work or a place of study and 79% of them said they kept it to themselves.

Out of 2031 British adults asked, the survey found that 53% of women and only 20% of men had experienced forms of sexual harassment in the workplace or at university that ranged from receiving inappropriate comments to physical sexual assaults. The BBC poll suggests one in 10 women had been physically sexually assaulted.

A quarter of those surveyed had suffered harassment in the form of ‘banter’ or uncomfortable jokes and one in seven experienced inappropriate touching. More women than men were targeted by their senior manager or boss and one in 10 women said that the harassment they were suffering at work or university resulted in them leaving.

Sarah Killcoyne, a postdoctoral researcher currently studying at the University of Cambridge told the BBC that she was sexually assaulted by two different men whilst in education, one by a school teacher and one by a college professor.

Many high-profile names have taken to social media to highlight the ongoing problem of sexual assault and harassment in the workplace and detailing the harassment they have suffered. Mary Creagh and Jessica Philips were among politicians to reveal their stories as they wanted to encourage others to speak out about being victims of abuse. Labour MP, Ms Philips detailed her account saying she had been ‘paralysed by fear’ when she woke up to find her boss undoing her belt and trousers at a party. Fellow Labour MP, Ms Creagh said she was just seven-years-old when she was sexually assaulted by a gang of 12 boys in a school playground.

Activist and founder of the original ‘Me Too’ campaign, Tarana Burke said: ‘My ultimate goal is to make sure that this is not just a moment, that it’s a movement and we will continue to raise our voices and tell our stories until we are heard.’

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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