We all hope that our workplaces are safe, but, the reality is sometimes quite different.
http://www.workplacesrespond.org/learn/the-facts/the-costs-of-sexual-violence) And this is not a crime that just affects women. 9% of rape victims are male.
For an example see: http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/florida-farm-owners-assault-migrants-while-police-and-prosecutors-do-nothing-7530797 a recent story about women being systematically raped at a tomato processing plant they worked at.
Don’t let the shocking details of that story lull you into thinking it can’t happen in your workplace. This story: https://bullyvaccineproject.com/how-bad-can-workplace-bullying-be/ is about a city worker who was raped with a glow stick by his co-workers and no one reported it!
I don’t normally talk about sexually abusive behavior in this blog, but I felt it was important to do so. Sexual violence is a continuum of behaviors. It might start with sexual bullying and harassment, progress to sexual assault (which is unwanted sexual contact that doesn't included forced penetration) and up to and including rape.
If leaders and managers don’t take sexual harassment (bullying of a sexual nature) or even workplace bullying seriously, then they are fostering a hostile work environment., because when left unchecked, harassment can escalate to assault very easily.
Don’t brush off verbal bullying as just normal interpersonal dynamics. It isn't. As much as a bully might claim they were only joking, they aren't. Bullying is an attempt to intimidate or coerce other people. When this intimidation is of a sexual nature, it is even more threatening.
If you are a manager, or an HR professional learn what it takes to get harassment to stop. This is not behavior that should be tolerated in our workplaces anymore.
These courses from Humanist Learning Systems will help you learn the behavioral skills necessary to curb harassment of any sort in your workplace. https://humanistlearning.com/category/bullyingharassment/