Exactly one year ago today, the New York Times published its first investigation intoÂ sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
Given the number of think pieces written about the publicâ€™s ever-shrinking attention spans and the ever-rising churn of the news cycleâ€™s speed, it is astonishing that anyone is still talking about Harvey Weinstein at all, let alone that the revelations about his alleged behavior â€” coercive, manipulative, violent, tyrannical â€” would spread so far beyond the confines of Weinstein and his accusers.
Much of the change catalyzed by the Weinstein story, and this past year of a reinvigorated #MeToo movement, is still ongoing and impossible to quantify. But some preliminary data points are emerging. On Friday, the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission reported that sexual harassment claims were up 12 percent this year, compared with the 2017 fiscal year.
The EEOC also announcedÂ via press releaseÂ that it had filed 66 harassment lawsuits in the last year â€” an increase of 50 percent from the year before.
AsÂ VarietyÂ reports, only a fraction of the total number of harassment claims in the U.S. are ultimately reported to the EEOC. Still, â€śthe trend lines are telling.Â Over the previous seven years, harassment claims had declined from 7,944 in 2010 to 6,696 in 2017. The EEOCâ€™s preliminary data shows an increase to about 7,500 claims in 2018, the highest level since 2012.â€ť And state data released by California and New York shows an â€śeven more pronouncedâ€ť pattern.
Even with the dramatic uptick, weâ€™re not quite atÂ post-1991-Anita-Hill-hearings levelsÂ just yet: EEOC data has the number of claims rising 52% in 1992.
This blog was originally published at ThinkProgress on October 5, 2018. Reprinted with permission.Â
About the Author:Â Jessica M. Goldstein is the Culture Editor for ThinkProgress.