The financial cost of sexual abuse in the workforce

By: AU collective team | December 31st 2021

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Au Collective has donated $18,000 for a legal defense fund for anyone fighting workplace sexual assault. Because as we will talk about in this article: Sexual assault is expensive. And much of these costs fall on to the survivor, not the perpetrator.

What Sexual Harassment is

Sexual harassment or sexual abuse is a type of sex discrimination. Not only is it unwelcome and threatening, it is also deemed as illegal. Consequently, it affects the victim’s physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Unknown to many, sexual harassment commonly occurs in the workplace. 

Sexual harassment constitutes inappropriate touching, sending provocative e-mails or lewd pictures, gazing at one’s body inappropriately, conveying sexual innuendoes, requesting for sexual favors, and engaging in sexual acts. It also involves showing pornographic websites, making comments about one’s physical appearance, and uttering obscene jokes. 

These circumstances result in interference of work, reduced productivity, increased absenteeism, and driving the employee to look for another job.

The cost of sexual assault is staggering.

According to the NSVRC, a staggering 65 percent of women and 19 percent of men experienced unwanted sexual advances at work. Here are some of the costs the victims bear:

  • Medical costs
  • Psychological counseling
  • Lost income and loss of earning capacity
  • Emotional trauma
  • Physical pain
  • Loss of life quality

The immediate medical costs for victims who seek care is $2,084 on average. The long-term costs are incalculable.

sexual abuse comfort

On top of all these costs, if they want any justice, they need to bear the cost of a massive legal case. If you ask any sexual assault lawyer, there is no such thing as a small sexual assault case. Everything costs a fortune. And what happens if you can’t afford it? You have to choose between inadequate council or the shame of doing nothing.

Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Sexual Assault Lawsuit?

Technically, you do not need a lawyer to file a sexual assault lawsuit. However, to give yourself the best chance of recovering what you need and deserve, you have to hire a great (and often) expensive attorney. An attorney knows the relevant state and federal laws applying to your case and can guide you through the legal system. 

Without an attorney, even reporting a crime to the police is an emotionally scarring thing. The right attorney understands the devastating long-term consequences that victims face and can fight for a fair settlement that adequately compensates a victim for all damages, including future expected counseling costs and other expenses.

Everyone pays

Survivors of sexual assault pay for sexual violence out of their own pockets, and the public pays through provision of services to them and their significant others. Businesses lose money through employee absences and sexual harassment suits.

recovering abuse

Let’s fight this Epidemic

– If you know someone who is being harassed at work, give her the support she needs. Encourage her to talk about it and to take action to stop it.

-If you hear about an incident of sexual harassment or are subjected to an offensive environment, take the appropriate steps to resolve the harassment or co-file with the complainant.

-When a victim files a complaint, support her throughout the complaint process.

Keep the paper trail of the date and time the incident occurred, the witnesses present during the incident, what was said, the details of what happened, and why the behavior was considered sexually harassing. 

Read more about how you can help survivors: