New help is available if you’ve been sexually harassed at work or school
Women’s Law Project launches #MeTooPA helpline
By: Kristy Trautmann
Sexual harassment is a serious and pervasive problem, not just for Hollywood celebrities, but for young women at school, and those working low-wage jobs. Far too many students and workers feel trapped and have no place to turn.
More than half of 7th-12th grade girls have experienced some form of sexual harassment, and the rates are even higher for young black girls and girls with disabilities. Much of this harassment is witnessed by teachers or other adults who fail to take it seriously. One in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. Fewer than 10% of students report and seek help because they believe that nothing will happen, or that reporting will actually make it worse. (Learn more: NOMOREK12.org)
The situation is no better for workers in low-wage jobs, who are often pressured to put up with abuse, who report frequent retaliation for reporting. Many work for companies who don’t have an HR department, or who believe that the HR staff are more focused on protecting the company against liability than acting to protect workers and stop abuse.
“Far too often, these victims feel isolated, unsure of their rights, or fear they won’t be believed or helped,” remarked Sue Frietsche, Senior Staff Attorney at the Women’s Law Project. “Prompt, compassionate legal support can stop harassment, prevent it from happening again, and may provide a measure of justice for victims.”
Contact #MeTooPA by calling 412-281-2892, 9am-5pm M-F, or email MetooPA@womenslawproject.org
- Confidential, victim-centered evaluation of your experience by an attorney
- Information and education about your rights at school or on the job
- Free legal representation in appropriate cases
- “Warm” referrals to additional resources in the community for counseling and support
Services are provided in both English and Spanish.
#MeTooPA is a service of Women’s Law Project, in partnership with Southwest PA Says No More and with the generous support of The Heinz Endowments.