It’s an unfortunate reality that many incidents of sexual abuse go unreported. Sex abuse victims often carry guilt that they are partly to blame, or shame and embarrassment at what took place; these feelings led, and still lead, many people to carry the secret with them. When it comes to sex abuse in the workplace, especially for women, up until recently, many of those cases went unreported as well.
Sexual abuse is a hard thing to prove and often involves the word of one person against another. As 2017 saw numerous women in the entertainment industry speaking out against current and past acts of sexual harassment, the issues of sexual abuse and harassment were brought into the limelight like never before. The birth of that movement was christened the #MeToo Movement, and it has brought with it changes regarding suing for sex abuse in the #MeToo era.
The #MeToo Movement
What started as the prompt from a famous woman to post “#MeToo” on Twitter if they had faced sexual harassment or abuse, quickly caught-on and became a global movement for feminism and accountability.
The #MeToo movement is about supporting and strengthening survivors of sexual abuse. Whether the abuse happened to individuals when they were younger, or more recently as adults in the workplace, the goal of #MeToo was to open-up a global dialogue on a subject left to slumber for too long.
After Harvey Weinstein was kicked out of the film academy due to the decades-long allegations made against him of sexual abuse and harassment, the movement went viral. Figure-headed by numerous famous singers and actresses, the movement gained even more steam as members of the entertainment industry began sharing their stories and struggles of sexual harassment and abuse.
#MeToo Prompts Companies to Strategize
In the wake of the #MeToo Movement, individuals and companies were forced to examine their practices regarding sexual harassment, abuse, and more importantly, prevention. Human Resources departments had to review their policies and start sharing an initiative aimed at protecting employers and their employees.
Suing for Sex Abuse
The #MeToo movement has certainly accomplished its task: raising awareness and opening-up a dialogue, but how has it changed in actual lawsuits? With the revelation that workplace sexual harassment is much more rampant than originally thought, management and employers must be extra cautious about how they respond to claims of sexual harassment.
Due to the changing mental climate of sexual harassment, when it comes to suing for sex abuse in the #MeToo era, studies have shown that jurors are more likely to rule in favor of the plaintiff in lawsuits of sexual harassment. What this means is that for those brave enough to come forward is that lawsuits are more likely to be a win for the plaintiff, thanks to the #MeToo Movement. If you feel you have been sexually abused or harassed, contact a sex abuse attorney in Chicago.