Katz, Marshall & Banks partner Alexis Ronickher was a guest on MSNBC Live, where she spoke with host Chris Jansing about the problem of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. Recent reports from women who have come forward about their harassment and abuse while working for members of Congress have prompted a public review of Congress’ inadequate process to stopping and preventing sexual harassment.
“In one survey, 40% of female hill staffers said that they were sexually harassed, but last year according to the Office of Compliance, there were eight staff members who came forward from the House and Senate,” explains Ms. Ronickher.
Much of the problem falls on the fact that success in politics is determined by “loyalty and relationships.” Ms. Ronickher understands why so many are hesitant to come forward. “The power dynamic is stacked against them … coming forward is career suicide.”
Another factor is the slow and unfriendly process imposed on victims who come forward. In order to go to court with their claims, they must complete an administrative process that takes at the very least 90 days.
However, Ms. Ronickher is optimistic that positive change is happening. “I do think that this is a defining moment. I do think that we’re seeing a sea change, and that women are coming forward.”
Watch the full video below.