Sexual harassment norms in the workplace are changing

A wave of women have come forward with allegations of sexual abuse, harassment and assault against men in positions of power.

From Matt Lauer to Charlie Rose to Harvey Weinstein and a slew of other Hollywood A-listers, the #metoo movement is rapidly gaining steam.

“The message is that sexual abuse at any level in every place is unacceptable,” says Arthur Lurigio a professor of psychology at Loyola. “The ‘me too’ movement has empowered women who were victims of sexual abuse which lies on a continuum from someone telling an off color joke in front of you cat calling to aggravated criminal sexual violence and everywhere in between.”

While the cases getting attention are high profile, Lurigio says the hope is for this movement to transcend to all workplaces.

Legal experts say updated and mandatory sexual harassment training is warranted across all industries given the current climate.

Former New York county prosecutor Deborah Tuerkheimer represented sexual assault and abuse crime victims  and now teaches law at Northwestern.

“We are living through a time where there is rapid change around sexual abuse violence workplace norms,” she says.

“There is proof in criminal court and outside court,” she says. “And the type of evidence you need to convict someone of a criminal sexual offense is different from what an employer needs to take this kind of action.“