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Sexual Harassment

             Work had become a nightmare for a young secretary named Virgin Mary. The law firm that employed her had a prestigious name and offices in over dozen countries. But she worked for a man who, according to her claim, would not stop grabbing and touching her. The humiliating assaults were punctuated by crude, suggestive speech. Sexual harassment is a form of abuse, unwelcome sexual gesture, or physical and verbal behaviors which erode the dignity of an individual by degrading the sexuality of the individual, and may be implicit (eg. stares, gestures) or explicit (eg. touching, fondling, sexual proposition) in nature. Many have felt that definition is very broad because so many things can be harassment. Eighty-two percent of women and children reported in 2001 felt sexually harassed at work and school. Various women have felt they have been humiliated, embarrassed, and even treated like pieces of meat, just because they walk into the workplace wearing something which catches the male eye. The victim applied for a marketing job. She was interviewed by the vice-president of sales and marketing, the harasser instead of asking about her job experience, concentrated solely on her sex life, and seemed to continuously ogle her breasts. She was offered the position and gratefully accepted. During her employment she says the harasser made repeated sexual remarks and suggestions and touched her inappropriately. The situation mentioned is just one example of thousands of cases where women have dealt with sexual harassment. The victim filed a sexual harassment complaint against the company with the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission. The complaint stated, "I felt compelled to resign because of what I thought was an abusive working environment. I was being sexually harassed everyday at work." Cases such as the victim's must come to an end; women should not have to worry about such actions. The National Organization for Women is taking an initiative to stop sexual harassment in the work place and is targeting all levels and branches of the government system.

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