Sexual assault is as much of a problem in the military as it is in other traditional workplaces and in college campuses nationwide. The University of Cincinnati leadership is working hard to prevent sexual assault and violence by teaming up with the UC Army ROTC to sign a sexual assault prevention charter and launching the #UCItsOnUs Movement as part of the national #ItsOnUs campaign. Lt. Col. Jason Bender referred to sexual assault as a “societal problem”, and while neither the college nor the Army can solve the problem, they can “change the culture around the Army and the University”. Changing the culture is an important step in protecting men and women from becoming victims of sexual misconduct.
Sexual Assault Is an Under-Reported Crime in the Military
A recent report suggests victims of sexual assault in the military are more willing to report the incident than they once were; however, it continues to be an under-reported crime in both the military and the private sector. During 2014, almost 6,000 victims reported incidents of such activity in the military, an increase from the previous year. According to an anonymous survey, 1 in 4 victims filed a report in 2014—a drastic improvement from 2012 when only 1 in 10 filed a report.
Active duty members consistently complain they experience retaliation and social backlash when they report such misconduct in the military. In order to address the problem, officials have implemented programs encouraging victims and witnesses to report sexual misconduct by providing better support for victims, increasing prosecution of sexual assault, and encouraging others to report situations they witness.
Sexual assault a crime. Sexual harassment in the workplace can also be illegal.
If you are the victim of sexual assault, we encourage you to report this crime to your local law enforcement authorities immediately. If you are in the military, report sexual assault pursuant to the military’s guidelines for reporting the crime.
1 in 3 women have been sexually harassed in the workplace. However, 71% of the women did not report the harassment, even though this behavior violates federal law. Federal law prohibits an employer from punishing an employee or retaliating against an employee for reporting sexual harassment in the workplace, but many women still fear their careers will be significantly harmed if they report any abuse.
What should I do if I am a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace?
If you are the victim of sexual harassment in the military or workplace, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and assert your legal rights.
- Keep records and any evidence of the misconduct (i.e. copies of emails or other documentation).
- Report the sexual harassment to your supervisor or Human Resources Department.
- Contact an employment lawyer immediately.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal, regardless of whether you work for a private employer, the military, or a government agency. You do not have to accept sexual harassment as “part of the job”. Contact the employment attorneys at Robert A. Klingler Co., L.P.A. to discuss your situation with an experienced Ohio employment attorney. Our law firm has extensive experience handling these types of claims and we will fight to protect your legal rights and help you as you cope with this sensitive issue.