Debra Katz talks about Sexual Harassment in Congress with KNX Radio’s “In Depth”

November 16, 2017

Katz Banks Kumin partner Debra Katz appeared on KNX Radio program “In Depth” to talk about the broken system for reporting sexual harassment in Congress.

As it currently stands, victims must undergo a long and painful administrative process that lasts at the very least 90 days. “The entire structure of this process is really tilted toward the members,” explains Ms. Katz. “People we have represented have found that process to be re-traumatizing.”

Adding to the victims’ distress, rules dictate that they cannot speak to anybody other than a lawyer throughout the reporting process. Ms. Katz elaborates, “You can’t ask family members to provide support. You can’t speak to a therapist under the way that they have this thing structured.”

This process only takes place assuming the victim takes action following the abuse – something that is quite rare given the environment. Victims are often scared to speak out against harassers fearing that “they’ll never work again in politics. They feel a disloyalty to their party, and people choose to submit to really egregious abuse rather than reporting.”

Listen to the program here. (Ms. Katz’s segment begins at the 18-minute mark of the November 14th episode.)

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