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Over 25% of Canadians say they've been sexually harassed at work: Poll

QMI Agency

(Fotolia)

(Fotolia)

More than a quarter of Canadian men and women surveyed say they've been sexually harassed at work but very few told their employers, according to an Angus Reid poll released Friday.

Extrapolating the data, the pollster estimates more than one million Canadians have experienced some form of work-related harassment in the past two years. The poll, conducted in November, found that both men (12%) and women (43%) had experienced sexual harassment at work or at a work function.

"Women are -- unsurprisingly -- almost four times as likely to have been harassed as men," the report said.

One-fifth of the women surveyed said they experienced harassment beyond innuendo and talk, ranging from sexual touching to "more serious unwanted sexual contact."

In addition to showing the frequency of sexual harassment on the job, the survey also revealed that four out of five people did not report it to their employers. Almost half said they preferred to "deal with it on their own."

Other reasons given for not coming forward: respondents felt the issue was too minor, they didn't think the employer would respond well, they were embarrassed, afraid to lose their jobs or harm their careers, they thought no one would believe them or were scared to come forward.

The findings, based on an online survey of more than 1,500 Canadians who are working or have worked outside the home, have a margin of error of 2.5%, 19 times out of 20.


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