The recent media storm over sexual assault in the film industry has finally shed light on a crime that has been pervading Hollywood for decades. Thousands of men and women in media and entertainment have come forward with their sexual abuse, harassment, and assault stories in the hopes of making a change for future generations.
If you are someone in the film industry who has suffered sexual assault in Illinois, contact our attorneys. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has decades of experience handling all types of sexual assault civil lawsuits in the state. We can assist you with every step of the claims filing process. Let us help you speak up and speak out against sexual assault in entertainment. Call (888) 424-5757 for a free, confidential case review.
Statistics: Sexual Assault in Film and Entertainment
A recent survey of 843 women in the entertainment industry by USA Today found that 87% had experienced unwelcome sexual comments, jokes, or gestures about themselves at least once. Another 75% witnessed others experiencing the same issue. A whopping 69% of respondents said someone had touched them in a sexual way, while 64% admitted that others had propositioned them for sexual acts or relationships.
The survey exposed a sad truth: while many women in the entertainment industry share sexual assault experiences, most do not come forward. Online 25% of women report sexual harassment or assault for fear of personal or professional retaliation. Most women who did report sexual misconduct said reporting it did not help them. Women with fewer than five years in the industry are less likely to come forward.
The percentages of women experiencing sexual assault in the entertainment and film industry are higher than in most other workplaces. Part of the problem is that many women do not know how to tell the difference between something an employer expects them to do for work and sexual misconduct. Victims may feel violated, yet around them people are acting as though everything is normal. The lack of clarity and blurred lines can make it difficult to know when to come forward.
What is Sexual Assault?
Knowing the definition of sexual assault can help men and women in every profession – not just the film industry. Illinois law defines sexual assault as sexual penetration in certain scenarios. Sexual penetration when the victim has not consented, is unable to consent, does not understand the nature of the act, or has consented after force or threats of force constitutes sexual assault. The charge increases to aggravated sexual assault if the perpetrator uses a weapon or threats of death.
Sexual harassment does not reach the level of sexual assault in Illinois, but it is still a crime. Sexual harassment in the workplace refers to any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual conduct, and other harassment of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment can refer to physical touching or verbal harassment, as well as hand gestures. Any offensive remarks or physical touching that makes the workplace hostile can qualify as sexual harassment.
While simple teasing is not against the law, harassment to the point of affecting employment is sexual harassment. Men and women in the film industry should not be afraid to come forward if someone at work has created a hostile or offensive work environment. The perpetrator could be a costar, director, producer, casting director, or another party. Both victim and perpetrator could be men or women.
How to Protect Yourself in the Film Industry
One of the best tools you have in protecting yourself from sexual harassment in any workplace is education. The more you know about sexual harassment, discrimination, abuse, and assault, the better you will be able to protect your rights. Learn the laws relating to sexual assault in your state. Then, get to know signs of sexual harassment in your industry. Any unwelcome or unprofessional sexual touching or remarks are cause for concern.
Speak up and be direct about your boundaries. If someone in your work environment violates you, go to the police. Then, speak to an attorney. You may have grounds to file a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator and the production company. You could also have a retaliation lawsuit if you lost a job or suffered a demotion after complaining about sexual assault or harassment. A lawyer in Illinois can help you seek justice.
When to Contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC
At Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, we offer free, no-obligation consultation in Chicago so you can learn your rights and options during a discussion with an attorney. Our legal consults are always 100% confidential. We can answer your questions, let you know if what happened to you constitutes a sex crime, and help you file a civil claim.
Our lawyers can go up against major players in the film industry on your behalf. We can use years of experience and passion for justice to your advantage. Start your sexual assault lawsuit with a phone call to our local law office. Call (888) 424-5757 or contact us online today.
- Media Industry Has Highest Incidence of Sexual Harassment Among White-Collar Workers, Survey Finds
- How common is sexual misconduct in Hollywood?
- Information maintained by the Legislative Reference Bureau
- 94% of women in Hollywood experience sexual harassment or assault, says survey
- Sexual Misconduct Within the Film Industry
- Sexual Harassment