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Web magazine, 24 June 2010 15:00

One in five cases of sexual harassment occur in the workplace

In 2009, one in every forty women were subject to unwelcome sexual advances; 20 percent occurred in the workplace. Only 10 percent were reported to the police.

Most victims are young women

Last year, 2.4 percent of women were occasionally touched or groped with sexual intent. One third of these women were repeatedly harassed. Young women were the most frequent victims; 7.4 percent of 15 to 24-year-old women faced sexual harassment last year.

One in five incidents occurred at work, more than half in pubs, bars, discos, etc. or on the street, while 6 percent occurred at home.

Location of sexual harassment, 2009

Location of sexual harassment, 2009

Half of sexual harassment cases initiated by friends, relatives or acquaintances

In nearly half of incidents, the victim knew the perpetrator. In 15 percent of incidents, a colleague was involved.

Known perpetrator, 2009

Known perpetrator, 2009

Only 10 percent of women report attempts to gain sexual favours

Only 10 percent of female victims notified the police and fewer than 3 percent formally reported the incident. Sexual offences are among the least reported incidents. Threat and physical abuse were reported three and six times as often respectively.

The main reasons given for not reporting sexual harassment to the police are ‘not so important’ ((30 percent) and ‘matter already settled’ ((25 percent). Fear of repercussions was the reason in 1 percent of incidents.

Reasons for not reporting sexual harassment to the police

Reasons for not reporting sexual harassment to the police

Carin Reep-Van den Bergh

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