Almost one in five females living in Hong Kong claims to have been sexually harassed in the workplace, according to a survey carried out by the Equal Opportunities Commission, and nearly one-third of those respondents say they did nothing about it.
Of the 472 women surveyed, 19 percent said that they’ve experienced sexual harassment and another six percent said that they’d witnessed the offense happen to another within the past 12 months. Seventy percent of sexual harassment victims surveyed said they took further action against the offenders, while the rest did not.
The survey found that a majority of the victims worked in fields involving retail, catering, health care and nursing, and 39 percent of offenders were said to be colleagues working at the same level. Twenty-eight percent of harassers were the customers, and the rest were staff senior and junior to victims.
Most cases were described as “non-verbal sex cues”, while inappropriate verbal or text messages and physical sexual behavior made up the rest of the cases.
The issue remains problematic in the mainland as well. A survey from late last year showed that seven in 10 female factory workers in Guangzhou experienced harassment in the workplace, with one and 10 even being hit up for sex by coworkers.
In a Sina survey from 2012, 23.6 percent of China respondents said they’d experienced sexual harassment at work, and another 48 percent said they’d seen or heard of it happening.
Women aren’t the only victims—a 2009 survey of over 5,000 workers in China found that one-third of men have encountered forms of sexual harassment in the workplace as well.