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Former contributor wins settlement against Fox News star

One common element in many sexual harassment cases involves a significant difference in powers of position between the assaulter and the victim. The aggressor often believes that he or she has an advantage over a victim, and may use this power in an attempt to force the victim into unwanted and unwelcome sexual situations.

Unfortunately, many victims fear that they will face retaliation if they resist the harassment. As a result, many some sexual harassment instances never see the light of day; the victim remains silent, the aggressor is never punished, and all too often, the sexual harassment instances continue with either the same victim or a new victim down the line.

According to recent reports, the Fox News network recently settled a sexual harassment filed against the network. According to the New York Times, a former Fox News analyst alleged that Bill O'Reilly, host of the network's popular "The O'Reilly Factor," had sexually harassed her in 2011. The report cites numerous instances of unwanted sexual advances, including a dinner gone awry, an inappropriate incident at a hotel, an unwanted kiss at O'Reilly's home, and numerous harassing phone calls by O'Reilly to her long after she had rejected his sexual advances.

The settlement was not made public, but is believed to be in the high upper six digits. It comes following a previous high-profile settlement in a sexual harassment case that led to the ouster of Fox News chief Roger Ailes.

Sexual harassment can take many forms. It is important for a sexual harassment victims to act, and to act promptly, not only for themselves, but for fellow co-workers and future workers who may also become victims to sexual predators in the workplace.

Source: New York Times, "Fox News Settled Sexual Harassment Allegations Against Bill O'Reilly, Documents Show," By Emily Steel and Michael S. Schmidt, Jan. 10, 2017

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