Survey shows 53 per cent of women experience sexual harassment in workplace – but many more may be suffering in silence

By Tamika McCrory

SEXUAL HARRASSMENT victims believe that new figures released about abuse in places of work and study are just the tip of the iceberg.

ComRes surveyed 2,031 adults about their experiences and found that those aged 18 to 34 were most likely to say they had experienced sexual harassment.

Kirstie, 46, from London, who did not want to give her full name, experienced harassment in her place of study and in her job.

She said: “It’s most likely higher than that in reality. I worked in Human Resources for nearly 20 years and I dealt with a number of cases of bullying and harassment.”

The survey was commissioned by Radio 5 Live in light of the recent allegations against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein and was published on October 25.

Sixty seven per cent of all those surveyed that had been harassed said they did not report it to anyone.

Philip Landau, employment lawyer at Landau Law solicitors, London, said: “Women think that reporting would affect their relationships at work, or they felt they wouldn’t be believed, they were too embarrassed, or indeed that it would affect their career prospects.”

Shin Yeo, 28, currently living in Australia, said that she has been sexually harassed several times while living in the UK. She has been stalked on the London tube and also on campus at Cardiff University.

Miss Yeo said: “Nowadays it’s very difficult to make a case against someone, especially when there are no witnesses and concrete evidence against the accused individual.

“Also the stereotype that women tend to over-exaggerate and be overly-dramatic is still very prevalent in society, and many women everywhere still fall victim to this assumption.”

The #MeToo campaign supporting women who have experienced sexual harassment has taken over Twitter.

The campaign allows women to share their stories openly on Twitter helping to bring light to the situation and to help other women come forward with their stories.

Caitlin Spencer, in her 30s, was a sex trafficking victim in the UK and has previously released a book about her ordeal, titled Please let me go, which aims to encourage others to speak out about sexual abuse on any scale.

The book explains how her ordeal began when she was first raped at the age of 14 and then forced by a pimp to have sex with other men over a 15-year period.

Along with publishing her story in her book and appearing in a BBC documentary, Caitlin is a supporter of the #MeToo campaign.

She said: “I think the Me Too campaign has brought so many women together worldwide, showing that it happens so much, on a huge scale, no matter where you come from or what your background it happens.

“I think Me too is saying to women that it isn’t their fault and it’s okay to speak out. Their voices are so important.”

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