Report details prevalence of sexual harassment at state Capitol

DENVER -- A report made public Thursday highlights the pervasiveness of sexual harassment at the Colorado state Capitol.

The report was compiled through interviews and surveys of 500 people who work at the Capitol.

RELATED: Sexual harassment report

Statistics

  • 27 percent of those surveyed observed or experienced harassment.
  • 91 percent of those who observed or experienced harassment saw elected officials do it.
  • Just 13 percent reported the behavior.
  • 39 percent fear retaliation for reporting.
  • Respondents observed harassment most often at functions outside of the Capitol. However, 69 percent observed behavior inside offices and 59 percent observed inappropriate behavior in public hallways and work places.

The report by Investigations Law Group has cost taxpayers more than $100,000 so far, according to officials.

Recommendations

  • The group recommended a three person human resources team to be created to handle and investigate harassment complaints going forward
  • The group recommended the General Assembly create "The Office of Legislative Culture" to employ these individuals
  • Another recommendation included  a non partisan panel to handle any consequences as a result of a complaint

Reaction

Most lawmakers said reforms will be gradually enacted over the next few months.

Rep. Faith Winter, the lawmaker who first exposed the culture at the Capitol, said she was "not surprised by the numbers in the report," hoping her story and others will change the Capitol forever.

"There is still a lot of concern that those that are most vulnerable, the interns, the aides the lobbyists, are less believed," Winter said.