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Sexual harassment in California universities

Many California residents may associate sexual harassment with the workplace. However, college campuses are not immune from this unwanted attention. The University of California system highlights how extensive this problem can be inside academia.

The University of California system recently released 113 sexual harassment cases to the public. The accusations include sexual assault and innuendos. These cases reflect 3 year’s worth of sexual harassment claims. A university spokeswoman has suggested that the number of incidents is likely similar to those of other large organizations. However, attorneys who have worked on these cases argue that the rates of sexual harassment are likely much higher, and that many incidents may not be reported. The cases which have been released are from concluded investigations.

The people who have come forth with sexual harassment allegations are not just students, but also university staff, as well as nurses with associated medical clinics. The situation is particularly tenuous for students, though, as many need to seek prosecution themselves at a time when they are looking to university staff and faculty for guidance. Allegations have been made against both professors and staff members such as custodians. It has been noted that prestigious faculty members might have received lighter punishments on account of their academic reputations. The university system has taken steps to rectify the situation by mandating training so both students and staff can learn how to protect themselves.

For many young people and their families, sexual harassment on a college campus can be a devastating experience. People who have been affected by this kind of incident may want to consider consulting an attorney to understand what steps they should take.

Source: The Orange County Register, ”113 sexual harassment cases reported in the University of California system in 3 years,” Roxana Kopetman, Chris Haire and Kelly Puente, March 27, 2017

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