A new report from the U.S. Equal Employment Commission (EEOC) reveals a 12 percent increase in the number of sexual harassment allegations in the 2018 fiscal year.
The report mainly focuses on workplace sexual harassment, an issue that came into the spotlight after multiple reports of sexual misconduct surfaced against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
"I am so proud of the EEOC staff who stepped up to the heightened demand of the #MeToo movement to make clear that workplace harassment is not only unlawful, it is simply not acceptable," said Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic. "As the agency with expertise, as the enforcer of the law, and as an educator, the EEOC has continued to lead the way to achieve the goal of reducing the level of harassment and to promote harassment-free workplaces."
According to the report, the EEOC filed 66 harassment lawsuits, 41 of those were allegations of sexual harassment. That's a more than 50 percent increase in sexual harassment suits over fiscal year 2017.
Overall, the EEOC recovered nearly $70 million for the victims of sexual harassment through litigation and administrative enforcement in FY 2018.
Many Christian leaders have spoken out about the #MeToo movement and the issue of sexual misconduct.
Sexual abuse expert Boz Tchvidjian, a grandson of Billy Graham, says he believes the hash tag is raising awareness in powerful ways as women tell their stories, many for the first time publicly.
"We've got to expose those who hurt and abused," he wrote in a 2015 op-ed piece.
Tchvidjian, a former prosecutor, now consults with faith organizations on the issue of sexual abuse. For years, he has spotlighted abuse in the Protestant church.
"I want to make sure that they don't feel undervalued or under-appreciated or under-loved," he said.