Sexual harassment at work often goes unreported, survey shows

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Some 16% of the Dutch have experienced sexual harassment at work at some point in the past 10 years, but only 37% ever reported it, according to research by the Dutch human rights council.

Women are twice as likely as men to be harassed at work, the council said. The research is based on information from 2,000 workers and 300 employers.

Most people said they had not reported being harassed because they did not consider what happened to be serious enough or that they were unclear when a joke became sexually unacceptable. Others said they were worried about exaggerating the situation.

The council’s chairwoman Adriana van Dooijeweer told NOS radio that sexual harassment at work can have a serious impact on the victim, particularly if it goes on for some time.

It is also more common in the hospitality and care sectors than other industries, she said.

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