Sexual harassment, abuse common for women journalists

No matter a person's profession, they are entitled to a workplace that is not only safe, but also free from discrimination, abuse and harassment. Unfortunately, one recent study indicates that women journalists regularly face both abuse and sexual harassment while on the job. While some may expect this to be an issue in foreign countries or particular parts of the world, it appears to be all too common in the U.S., as well.

The International Women's Media Foundation, in collaboration with the International News Safety Institute, recently released a report regarding the treatment of women journalists on the job. The report indicates that approximately 64 percent of women working in journalism related fields experience some form of abuse or sexual harassment.

The report was based on a survey conducted by both organizations. The IWMF and the INSI interviewed almost 900 women in countries around the world. Survey participants held a variety of jobs in the field, including photographers, writers, editors and producers. Participants also worked in all forms of media, including television, radio and print. The vast majority of those surveyed - just over 80 percent - were reporters.

Just over 46 percent of women surveyed said that they had experienced sexual harassment while on the job. About 13 percent said that they had seen some kind of sexual misconduct in the workplace. Just over 50 percent of those surveyed said the harassment was perpetrated by a supervisor, boss or co-worker, and 93 percent of the time, the perpetrator was a male. The most common types of sexual harassment were unwanted comments on dress and appearance, suggestive remarks or sounds and jokes of a sexual nature.

While reporters, photographers and others in the journalism field may expect to face dangerous situations while on assignment, the sad reality is that they face abuse and harassment in a place where they should be safe. And while this particular survey was limited to those in the journalism field, it is safe to say that women in most fields and professions have experienced workplace harassment at some point in their careers.

Fortunately, there are legal options for those who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. If you have experienced sexual harassment or abuse at your job, it is important to speak to an attorney with expertise in employment law. An experienced attorney can take the time to examine the facts of your case, explain your legal options and help you decide the best way to proceed. Speak to an employment law attorney for more information.