Ever since actress Alyssa Milano led the charge in making the #MeToo hashtag go viral following the damning New York Times exposé on film mogul Harvey Weinstein (and then a separate investigative report in The New Yorker), women around the world have faced their fears by opening up about sexual harassment or assault—many instances of which take place in the office.
In a small poll of 265 women and 286 men conducted by NBC News and The Wall Street Journal, 48 percent of women who are currently employed in the US revealed they’ve experienced some type of sexual, verbal, or physical harassment at work. And 44 percent of those women said hearing other victim’s stories made them want to share theirs too.
Nearly half the women employed in the US revealed they’ve experienced some type of sexual, verbal, or physical harassment at work. And 44 percent of those women said hearing other victim’s stories made them want to share theirs too.
Not only does this poll provide evidence that #MeToo might spark a positive change when it comes to female victims sharing their abuse stories, thus exposing their aggressors—but men are onboard too. Of the men polled, 77 percent said in light of the recent sexual-abuse news events, they’re more likely to speak out if they see a woman being treated unfairly instead of just letting the incident go unrecognized.
Obviously there’s a long way to go (speaking up is a low rung on the ladder for completely eradicating abuse), but this poll still provides some hope for progress: The more every person—both men and women—addresses and acknowledges the issue, the greater the chances are of finally making the world (and the workplace) a safe space for all employees.