GENEVA, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Men make up 10 percent of those seeking help on a dedicated internet platform advising people who feel sexually harassed at work, the Zurich Office for Gender Equality has found, Swiss media reported Monday.
Started a year ago, the office creates the platform in collaboration with other organizations and offers people an initial free consultation and advice on where to find more help to deal with the issue, Swissinfo reported.
To date, it has advised an average of two people a week who suffer from sexual harassment in the workplace.
A tenth of those contacting the service were male, said Anja Derungs of the Zurich Office for Gender Equality in an interview with Swiss public television SRF on Monday.
Derungs said the findings were a slight surprise to her.
"With men, it's still an even greater taboo subject and nobody wants to be the victim of sexual harassment," she said.
It is, however, a reality that men suffer from sexual harassment too, Derungs said.
They might feel discriminated against based on their sex or experience a sexist climate in their company.
Generally, the cases the platform dealt with were similar to those experienced by women.
"Sexist jokes and physical contact also affect men; it can happen to both sexes," she said.
Sexual harassment very often has little to do with somebody's gender but is more related to a certain power dynamic, said Derungs.
The online-based service also helps people who don't work in a standard office environment but in industries which are "otherwise hard to reach", she said.
This applies, for example, to the hospitality and construction industries, where things are less regulated than in an office.