PowHer The Vote: Physical Security

Gender discrimination is currently a hot national topic, but little information is being shared about legal protections, the effects on women, or how to reduce gender violence.

Personal safety and economic security are inextricably linked for all men and women. However, interpersonal violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment on campus and the workplace, disproportionately impact both women’s earning and learning. Missed days of work, lateness, poor performance, or dropping out of school all jeopardize one’s education or employment with devastating financial consequences.

In recent years, New York State passed domestic violence bills, created the most comprehensive human trafficking law in the nation, expanded protections for workplace sexual harassment–and when Governor Cuomo signed the Enough is Enough Law–instituted the most aggressive policy in the nation to fight against sexual assault on college campuses. But more needs to change to address the violence against women crisis so that women can thrive.

Join us for our #PowHerTheVote for Physical Security Take Action Hour Thursday, October 20th from 1-2:00PM!


This factsheet is a part of PowHer the Vote, a campaign to ignite and equip New Yorkers to advance women’s issues in the 2016 election.

Sign up to join the movement!

Ask Your Candidate How can NYS government make women and the LGBTQ community more safe in the private, public, and work environment?


Of women experiences physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.

1 in 3

Women ages 18 to 34 have been sexually harassed at work.

2 Minutes

Less than every two minutes, an American is sexually assaulted.

What’s Happening in New York?

  • In New York State, there were 3,918 instances of rape reported to police in 2014.
  • 67% of students experienced harassment on campus, but only 17% of students said that they reported harassment to a person of authority.
  • In 2015 31.6% of all the charges in New York to the EEOC were for sexual assault in the workplace.
  • In July of 2015, New York’s legislation combating sexual assault on campus, “Enough is Enough,” was signed.
  • In 2014, there were 100,920 total assaults reported by police agencies outside of New York City. Of these, 29% (28,976) were committed by intimate partners; females were the victim in 80% of these assaults, which was also the case in 2013.

What’s Happening in Nationally?

  • Nationwide nearly one in three women (31.5%) experiences physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in her lifetime.Unlike younger women, older women are more likely to be abused by non-intimate family members, like institutional and noninstitutional caregivers.
  • Female victims of intimate partner violence over the age of 18 in the United States lose about 5.6 million days of household productivity and nearly eight million days of paid work each year, which amounts to approximately 32,000 full-time jobs.
  • The LGBTQ community face higher rates of hate crimes and physical violence.
  • In the United States 19.3 % of women are raped at some time in their lives, and 43.9% experience sexual violence other than rape.

Workplace Sexual Harassment 

In fiscal year 2015 almost 30,000 charges received by EEOC included an allegation of workplace harassment.

    • In one survey, 41% of transgender workers reported having been asked unwelcome questions about their transgender or surgical status, and 45% reported having been referred to by the wrong pronouns “repeatedly and on purpose” at work

In the latest Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) report on restaurant worker sexual harassment, 78% of women and 55% of male restaurant workers reported sexual harassment by customers.

  • Although the restaurant industry employs only 7% of American women, the sector is responsible for 37%of sexual harassment claims filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
  • 50% of women, 47% of men, and 60% of trans workers characterized the behavior asscary” or “unwanted

Sexual Assault on Campus 

Across the United States, HOLLABACK’s impressive College Harassment Survey found:

  • 67% of students experienced harassment on campus.
  • 61% witnessed another student being harassed on college campus.
  • About 1 in 5 said harassment caused inability to concentrate in class
  • About 1 in 4 said harassment prevented attendance in class / social activities.
  • 55% of college administrators said that current systems to report and address harassment are not sufficient.
  • Only 17% of students said that they reported harassment to a person of authority.


  • Rape is the most costly of all crimes to its victims. Nationally, the cost for each rape is estimated to be $151,423, when accounting for loss of work productivity (a conservative estimate that leaves out the cost of emotional & psychological services).
  • In the United States 19.3 % of women are raped at some time in their lives, and 43.9% experience sexual violence other than rape.
  • Nearly eight in ten female rape victims were first raped before age 25, and approximately 40% were raped before age 18.

Key Terms

Domestic Violence: A pattern of coercive behavior/tactics used by someone against their intimate partner in an attempt to gain or maintain power and control. Domestic violence can also be perpetrated by and/or against a member of the same family or household.

Interpersonal Violence (IPV): The intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against a person or group that results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation. IPV can be committed by a person who is or has been in a romantic relationship, spouse or partner, family member, cohabitant, or household member including a roommate.

Street harassment: is a form of sexual and gender-based harassment that takes place in public spaces outside work or school. Street harassment can include catcalling, being followed, sexual advances, groping or fondling, others exposing themselves, and many other unwelcome or threatening behaviors on the street or in public settings.


National Network to End Domestic Violence

New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence

No More Campaign

Women’s Law

YWCA Week Without Violence

The Glass Floor: Sexual Harassment in the Restaurant Industry (ROC-United)

Status of Women in the States: Violence and Safety (Institute for Women’s Policy Research)