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What's considered sexual harassment in the workplace? You may be surprised.

Experts say some  forms of workplace sexual harassment are obvious, but others can be subtle, November 29, 2017. (WLUK) 

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Experts say some forms of workplace sexual harassment are obvious.

"If you don't go out with me, or have this relationship with me, there will be consequences on the job," explained Denise Knutson.

Knutson, is a trainer for The H.S Group, a company that specializes in workplace ethics.

She says harassment can also be subtle, "Things like offensive posters, offensive jokes that may not be offensive to one person, or a group, but is offense to another."

The State Department of Workforce Development tracks sexual harassment complaints in the work place.

  • In 2014, there were a total of 199 complaints filed.
  • In 2015, that number fell to 173.
  • Last year, the number of reported complaints rose slightly, to 186.

Family Services of Green Bay works with victims of sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Carrie Burke, sexual assault advocate at the center says the recent high-profile harassment cases are having an effect, "We definitely have been feeling the effects, the ripple effect of that, again giving that victim more courage."

Burke says they've seen in the last 4 to 9 years, that the continuing education, and partnership with law enforcement, prosecutors, and advocates has made it safer for victims to report.

"The big thing with advocacy, and what I heard another deputy say, is what we're showing you here, is that you're no longer alone," she explained.

Looking ahead, both Burke and Knutson say education is key.

"There will one or two people that have that 'aha' moment, and say I never thought of it that way," said Knutson.

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