Detroit, MI- Last year, there was a lot of noise about sexual harassment and assault on college campuses, but the din seems to have died down. Does that mean then that it sexual misconduct is no longer a concern? Have colleges managed to get their problems under control?
The answer to both of those questions is: No, colleges have not gotten better with their handling of campus sexual harassment and assault. As a matter of fact, in the past year more since the issue came to a head, more colleges have been put under scrutiny by the Department of Education.
According to a recent report from the Huffington Post, there are 143 postsecondary institutions under investigation for sexual harassment or assault as of May 13th of this year. But you would be hard pressed to find out the names of those colleges and universities because they aren’t required to state they are under investigation.
When this issue came to the forefront, a number of institutions were accused of covering up allegations, failing to investigate claims, retaliating against victims and not appropriately punishing perpetrators. Some institutions were also accused of covering up harassment, assaults and rapes in order to keep attendance rates as conceal the scope of the problem from parents and potential students.
The fact that so many postsecondary institutions are under investigation shows that sexual harassment and assault on campuses is a major problem. According to recent research from the American Association of University Women (AAUW), at least 62 percent of women and 61 percent of men report being sexually harassed on their campus. Sixty-six of respondents said they knew someone who was sexually harassed.
What’s just as disturbing as the prevalence of sexual abuse, is how few victims come forward. The AAUW found that less than 10 percent of victims actually report and 35 percent never tell their family or friends. The main reason so many people let sexual harassment and assault slide is because they fear they will be punished or blamed, it’s a very common reaction from college administrators—and employers for that matter.
People who harass or those who haven’t been harassed don’t understand why it is such an issue. They don’t understand how it makes the victim feel, but sexual harassment and assault can have very negative impact on the victim. In the AAUW survey, 69 percent of women who have been sexually harassed said they were very upset about the incident and over half said it made them feel embarrassed and insecure.
The sexual harassment attorneys at USAttorneys understand how victims suffer and aim to get their Michigan clients justice. If you have faced harassment, you need to speak with a lawyer who specializes in employment law to inform you or your rights and what course you must take to get the compensation you deserve. When you retain one of our sexual harassment attorneys in Michigan, you can have confidence that your case will be successful.