Women are going through a small gender revolution of a sort in the last few years, which began with the #MeToo movement and followed through with many finally liberated voices. Sexual harassment statistics are the core metrics that shed light on the actual situation of this disgusting practice away from the distorting media coverage.
How many cases like the one of Harvey Weinstein are happening right in front of our noses, at our workplace, or outside? Has this sudden rush of awareness changed their rates, visibility, or outcomes? Have harassers learned a thing or two, or have they moved their practices entirely online? These facts and stats will help you find out.
Top 10 Key Sexual Harassment Statistics & Facts
- 59% of American women say they had experienced some form of sexual harassment during their lifetime.
- Native American women are 2.5 to 3.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than all other races.
- Sexual harassment is the sixth on the list of the most-worrisome crimes for US women.
- 44% of German women are sexually assaulted on the street.
- 69% of women who were sexually harassed experienced the harassment in the professional setting.
- There were 7,514 official charges in the US alleging sexual harassment at work in 2019.
- When it comes to victims of sexual harassment, stats show that 99.8% of people who experience sexual harassment at work never file a sexual harassment charge.
- More than half of the charges for alleged sexual harassment at work are resolved with “no reasonable cause.”
- Women in supervisory positions are more likely to experience sexual harassment than women in subordinate positions.
- Each year, around 58% of the 7th-12th graders in America experience some type of sexual harassment at school.
Global vs. US Sexual Harassment Statistics
1. 99% of women in Egypt reported experiencing sexual harassment.
Egypt has the worst sexual harassment rates in the world, according to an article published by CNN. Furthermore, 87% of women in Vietnam reported being sexually harassed in public, and in Bangladesh, 84% of women reported being victims of obscene comments and public sexual advances.
For more than half of the women in Bangladesh, these incidents were provoked by drivers in public transportation. In India, 79% of women reported having similar sexual harassment experiences, and in Cambodia, the share of women victims was 77%.
2. Sexual harassment statistics in the US show that 59% of American women had experienced some form of sexual harassment.
According to Pew Research Center, about 44% of the 6,251 adults interviewed in 2018, claimed to had been a victim of unsolicited sexual advances, and/or verbal or physical sexual assault, statistics from 2018 confirm. Gender analysis of this data shows that 59% of women vs. 27% of men claim that they have suffered sexual harassment at some point in their lives.
3. 18.3% of women and 1.4% of men in the US were victims of rape at some point in their lifetime, sexual harassment facts show.
Data from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) show that there were 734,630 sexual assault cases in the US in 2018. Moreover, 2% of women and 1% of men in the US were victims of sexual assault, as statistics for 2018 from the Gallup poll show. National estimations state that every 73 seconds, an American falls victim to a sexual assault.
4. Native American women are 2.5 to 3.5 times more likely to experience sexual assault in their lifetime, sexual harassment statistics by race reveal.
While almost 80% of the complaints of sexual assaults were reported by Caucasian women, sexual assault statistics by race show that in the US, women of other races are more frequently assaulted.
The American Indian and Alaska Native have the most elevated lifetime sexual assault rate of 34.1%, followed by women of mixed race, with a rate of 24.4%, and African American women (18.8%), Caucasian (17.7%), and Hispanic women (11.9%).
5. Sexual harassment statistics in Europe show that over 80% of women in Denmark and Sweden reported being victims of this type of crime.
Women in the northern parts of the EU reported more cases of sexual harassment than those living in the South of Europe. Statista finds that above 80% of women were sexually harassed in Sweden, and Denmark, while these shares for Eastern European countries, including Czechia and Portugal, were 20% to 39%.
Surprisingly, 60%-79% of women in countries in central Europe, including France, Germany, the UK, the Netherlands, and Belgium reported sexual harassment.
6. Stats on sexual harassment show that, for US women, this issue is sixth on the list of the most-worrisome crimes.
36% of American women in 2018 stated that they frequently fear sexual harassment, in comparison to just 4% of men. This crime is ranked 6th on the list of worrisome crimes for women, and last in the men’s chart of worrisome crimes.
Only 29% of the women in this survey said that they rarely worry about this issue, whereas 33% said they were not concerned about sexual harassment. On the other hand, 75% of men in 2018 stated that they never worry that they will fall victim to sexual harassment.
7. US sexual harassment statistics reveal that 41% of women experience sexual and physical harassment on the street.
65% of women and 25% of men in the US reported experiencing street harassment. 57% of the women and 18% of men said they were harassed verbally, and around 41% of women and 16% of men reported being physically aggressed.
8. 44% of German women are sexually assaulted on the street.
In 2018, 35% of women in Spain shared the same experience. In the UK, Italy, and France, the share of women experiencing sexual assault and harassment on the street was 27%, 25%, and 24% accordingly.
Sexual Harassment at Work Statistics & Facts
9. 69% of women who were sexually harassed experienced this harassment in the professional setting.
A survey done by the Pew Research Center shows that women experienced sexual harassment most frequently outside their workplace (in 85% of the cases), whereas more than two-thirds of them experience this type of misplaced behavior in their professional setting. For 42% of women who were victims of sexual harassment in 2018, this happened both in and outside their workplace.
10. EEOC sexual harassment statistics for 2019 reveal 7,514 official charges alleging this type of incident at the workplace.
Workplace harassment statistics in 2019 documented by the EEOC show that there were 12,739 registered sex-based harassment allegations, out of which 7,514 were charges for alleged sexual harassment in the workplace.
As much as 83.2% of these charges were filed by women.
11. Women working in the mining, oil, and gas extraction industry are the most frequent victims of sexual harassment.
More than 25 sexual harassment charges per 100,000 employees were filed by women in the industries of mining, quarrying, gas, and oil extraction, as shown in the sexual harassment in the workplace statistics for the period 2012-2016, ranking these industries as the worst by their sexual harassment rates.
With a charge rate of over 20 per 100,000 women employees, warehousing, transportation, agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting are also considered as non-tolerant industries for gender diversity. On the other hand, men working in educational services, healthcare, and social assistance were most likely to file sexual harassment charges, with a rate of around 5 charges per 100,000 employees.
12. 99.8% of people who experience sexual harassment at work never file a sexual harassment charge, sexual harassment in the workplace statistics show.
National estimates show that about 5 million Americans experience sexual harassment at work every year, but only around 9,200 of them on an annual level file charges with the EEOC or with the state Fair Employment Practices Agencies (FEPA).
Hence, most of the sexual harassment cases in the workplace go unreported. Statistics on employer retaliation support this type of inaction, since over 60% of the women who report being sexually harassed lose their jobs and 68% report some form of retaliation.
13. More than half of alleged sexual harassment charges are resolved as “no reasonable cause,” workplace sexual harassment statistics from the EEOC confirm.
(EEOC; Pew Research)
52% of US women stated that the major problem with women reporting sexual harassment at work is not being believed, and the EEOC statistics give an additional reason to these worries.
In 2019, 54.6% of the charges ended up owning the label of “no reasonable cause,” as did more than half of them every year since 2010. Only 8.8% in 2019, and 8.7% of the sexual harassment charges in 2018 were resolved by settlements, workplace harassment statistics in 2019 confirm.
14. Around 73% of workplace sexual harassment charges are resolved with no benefits to the victim, statistics of sexual harassment reveal.
Contrary to the great value settlement cases that capture media’s attention, most of the outcomes are far less sensational for the victims. Namely, only 15% of sexual harassment cases in the workplace are resolved with monetary benefit for the victims, and around 8% of them get monetary and workplace benefits.
Moreover, 4% of victims changed their workplace, and the 73% that are left were resolved without any benefits for the victims. Only 1% of these charges resulted in monetary compensation of over $100,000.
15. 46% of women in Europe were victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, statistics from 2019 reveal.
(Statista; Statista; Statista; Statista)
European workplace harassment statistics in 2019 reveal that 46% of women in selected European countries experienced sexual harassment at work in the form of whistling, inappropriate comments, gestures, and suggestive looks. Furthermore, almost a quarter of them were exposed to explicit sexual proposals and messages.
Also, around 3% of women employees in France and the UK and 4% of those in Germany were pressured to give sexual favors by their professional contacts.
16. Women in supervisory positions are more likely to experience sexual harassment, statistics in the workplace confirm.
The results from recent research conducted in workplaces in Sweden, the US, and Japan revealed that women who were on the upper scale of hierarchy at work were 30%-100% more likely to experience sexual harassment, especially when the majority of subordinates were men.
Furthermore, women supervisors in Sweden and Japan reported having a 30% higher rate of harassment at work than women in other job positions. In the US, women bosses had a harassment rate elevated by 50%.
17. Men are becoming less concerned about sexual harassment in the workplace, statistics from the 2017-2019 period reveal.
53% of men in a Gallup survey state that sexual harassment in the work setting is a major problem as opposed to 66% of men that were surveyed in 2017. This 13 percentage point drop in only one year is a significant change in the public opinion surrounding this issue.
In 2019, 62% of the total US population believed that harassment in the workplace should be taken seriously, compared to 69% in 2017. Furthermore, 70% of American women in 2019 vs. 73% of women in 2017 stated that sexual harassment at work is a major problem in the US.
18. Facts about sexual harassment reveal that for 51% of Americans, the increased awareness of this problem made the communication at work more confusing.
Over half of Americans believe that men are more confused about their workplace behavior towards their female colleagues after the #MeToo movement, and only 12% of them believe this movement made things easier for inter-gender communication.
Concerning the perceived opportunities that women have at work, around 51% of the US adult population believes there are no significant changes in this field after #MeToo.
US Sexual Harassment Facts and Statistics by Age Groups
19. One-quarter of teens between 13 and 17 years experienced sexual harassment online in 2018.
(Pew Research Center)
25% of US teens reported receiving sexually explicit images without their consent, show the results of a survey conducted in 2018. Also, 63% of teens 13 to 17 years old stated that online harassment of any type is a major problem for them, whereas 57% of parents of teenagers are worried about the potential sexual harassment that their teens might experience online.These worries are well-founded, given the fact that 7% of teenagers reported somebody sharing their explicit images without their consent.
20. Sexual harassment in schools statistics show that around 58% of the 7th-12th graders in America experience some type of sexual harassment at school every year.
(Aljazeera America; BJS)
The annual school crime report from the Department of Justice answers the question of how many assaults happen a year in the US public high schools.
In the school year 2015/2016, there were 6,100 incidents classified as sexual assaults other than rape. The rate of these incidents was 0.1 per 1,000 students, and some 3.4% of schools reported them to the police.
21. Sexual minority students are more likely to be victims of sexual harassment, statistics on college behavior reveal.
A 2015 research paper shows that college students of non-heterosexual orientations are more likely to be sexually harassed during college. The overall ratio of students reporting this type of misconduct for non-heterosexual and heterosexual orientations were 65.5% vs. 45.4%.
Students who declared as transgender, genderqueer, and other non-binary genders were more likely to be sexually assaulted (21%) than others (18% of women, and 4% of men). What’s more, these students are more likely to report a stranger as a perpetrator, rather than a friend or an intimate partner as per dating violence statistics.
22. Sexual harassment stats reveal that 57% of women aged 18-34 were sexually harassed online with unsolicited sexually explicit content.
Despite the efforts employed to stop this practice, sexual harassment is still very frequent online, and this is also confirmed by the recent dating app statistics.
A 2019 survey showed that over half of the women aged up to 49 years that used online dating apps had experienced sexual harassment by receiving unwanted sexually explicit materials like pictures and videos. For this type of sexual misbehavior, there was only a 4 percentage point difference between those who were victims in the age groups 18-34 (57%) and 35-49 years (53%).
23. Statistics on sexual harassment from 2019 reveal that 44% of young women users of dating apps are being called offensive names.
Online dating statistics and a 2019 Pew Research survey show that for many women users under the age of 35, offensive name-calling was a problem, along with unwanted contacting (60%) and physical threats (19%).
Sexual harassment in the form of offenses was reported by 26% of men, and 34% of women aged 35-49, and physical threats were received by 6% of men and 10% of women in this age group.
24. Sexual harassment statistics by gender show that men over 50 are more likely to be sexually harassed online than women of the same age group.
While the figures show that women are at a greater risk of online sexual harassment, a Pew Research Center study in 2019 shows that men over 50 are more likely than women to receive undesired sexually explicit material. More precisely, 24% of men vs. 20% of women reported experiencing this type of sexual harassment.
These percentages in younger age groups are, unsurprisingly, reversed – one of the well-known sexual harassment facts. Women up to 49 years experience more than twofold the harassment experienced by men with ratios 28% vs. 57% for those aged 18-34, and 24% vs. 53% for those 35 to 49 years old.
Facts and figures show that sexual allegation charges need to evolve into more positive outcomes to help motivate the voicing of this issue for all those dealing with sexual harassment – both at work and outside of it.
On a global level, we are far from reaching this goal. On the contrary, online mediums contribute to the enhancement of sexual harassment. However, these sexual harassment statistics show that developed countries have a better chance of combatting this societal silencer of the victims, and with that, protect all against this menace.