Hope Inc. works to stop sexual harassment in the workplace

(WBOY) - From Hollywood to the corporate world "sexual harassment," the making of unwanted advances or obscene remarks, is drawing greater public scrutiny than ever before.

A wave of sexual misconduct allegations is making a big splash on workplace culture across the country.

Hope Inc., Jackie Ritter said, "We're really enjoying this amazing wave of empowerment for victims. We hope that it can continue and help supplement our goals of trying to prevent sexual violence in the future."         

Ritter said putting a stop to sexual harassment in the workplace starts at the top.

"I think creating an atmosphere of understanding and not approaching it as an anti-liability issue more of a human issue. That encourages people to be open and feeling okay with talking with their superiors about issues that might be happening," said Ritter.   

The topic is now in the limelight after a slew of claims against high-profile men like Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein and long-time Today Show host Matt Lauer.

Responses to the allegations have exploded through social media with campaigns like #metoo and just recently at The Grammy's, where stars carried white roses sending a message of solidarity against sexual harassment.

But Ritter said the push for change must continue even after the hashtags stop trending.

"This isn't really an upswing in reporting. They have been telling their stories out there all the time. Now they are just being heard, more widely and more publicly. It's not a matter that it's happening more. It's always been happening and now we are just hearing more about it because they are feeling safe to come forward and talk about it," said Ritter. 

We will have two more stories covering sexual harassment and the MeToo movement this weekend on 7News.

Tune in Saturday to see how advocates at WVU are tackling sexual assault issues, and on Sunday we'll explain the legal options available to those that may wish to pursue charges. 


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