Sexual assault can happen anywhere: in the military and on college campuses, in the Catholic Church and at world-renowned yoga studios. But the way the problem has played out for women at work tends to escape public attention. About 50 people a day are sexually assaulted or raped while they’re on the clock, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. This number is a serious under-count – two-thirds of sexual assault victims in any scenario don’t report the crime. How does on-the-job sexual assault play out, especially among vulnerable workers? How is workplace sexual violence similar or different to what is happening at universities? Why is it such a difficult story for journalists to report? How does reporting on workplace sexual violence compare to coverage of these issues on campus? Most importantly, what are organizations and employers doing to prevent and address the problem?
Bernice Yeung is a reporter for Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting. In recent years, she has served on reporting teams that focused on the workplace sexual violence experienced by low-wage immigrant workers, such as farm workers and night-shift janitors. These projects have resulted in documentaries for PBS Frontline and Univision, public radio pieces and text stories published online and in major newspapers. These projects have won various national awards and prompted legislative and community efforts to combat the problem. A 2015-2016 U-M Knight-Wallace Fellow, Bernice is currently working on a book based on this reporting.