Most women who have faced sexual harassment don’t talk about it. Why is that? Here are 5 reasons women don’t speak up against harassment.
1. They fear being labeled
One’s identity is a fragile thing. Most women who have faced harassment prefer not to talk about it because they don’t want the incident to define them. They fear they will be labeled as being an attention seeker, a liar, too sensitive, promiscuous or vengeful.
2. They can’t afford the cost of it all
Accusing a man of sexual harassment and taking this to its last consequences involves going to trial, having the time and money to get a lawyer. Not to mention the subtler costs: being labeled as trouble maker and therefore having a hard time finding a job in the future.
3. There’s little chance people will believe them
In the absence of strong evidence, the whole situation is likely to be reduced to the “she said/he said” debate. Usually, the abuser has the power advantage, while the victim is isolated and powerless.
4. They fear being blamed for it
Victim blaming is a common phenomenon that silence women who share their stories. People suggest more or less directly that it was the women’s behavior, location, clothes, sexual history that were to blame for the harassment and not the abuser.
5. They feel ashamed
Even if they did nothing wrong, women tend to blame themselves for the incident. They tell themselves that they should’ve been less friendly, less naive and made better choices.
Sexual harassment is not ONLY a women’s issue. It is a shameful social phenomenon that should concern us all. Please, share this!