Employers Can Play Pivotal Role to Support Employees Who’ve Experienced Harassment, Assault 


More than eight in 10 women and four in 10 men nationwide say they have experienced some form of sexual assault or harassment, according to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Sexual assault and violence is a significant form of trauma, which leads to serious mental health impacts. Up to 51 percent of sexual assault victims meet the criteria for depression, and 75 percent of sexual assault survivors develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder one month after their assault. 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which raises public awareness about sexual violence and educates communities on how to prevent it. Employers play a pivotal role in understanding the impact of trauma in the workplace and in providing resources and support for employees who’ve experienced sexual harassment or assault. 

Second only to home, workplaces are the spaces where employees will spend most of their time. The environments they work in, and the people they work with, are major factors in their overall happiness, health and well-being. Employees who feel safe and comfortable enough to disclose when they aren’t well, and whose workplaces provide them with the resources they need to get help, feel greater workplace satisfaction and become more productive employees.

Employers can offer a number of family-friendly practices to provide survivors with the tools they need to support their mental and physical health and well-being. Family Forward NC has data and resources to support employers who want to implement practices that help their employees address trauma. 

Learn more about how to offer:

  • employee assistance programs, which directly support employees’ mental health and trauma recovery;
  • paid safe leave, which allows employees to attend to a critical safety need, such as domestic violence or sexual assault recovery; and
  • health insurance, which allows employees to access more affordable physical and mental health care.