Working in fear

Sexual violence against women farmworkers in the United States: a literature review

 The tremendous imbalance of power in the agricultural industry creates an atmosphere where sexual violence is common. In a recent study, 80 percent of women farmworkers surveyed said they experienced some form of sexual violence on the job (compared to 25-50 percent of all women in the workforce).

While sexual violence in the workplace has been studied extensively, far less attention has been given to the issue as it applies to women farmworkers in the United States whose circumstances differ greatly from the white middle-class focus of most sexual violence literature. The purpose of this report is to provide a comprehensive review of the existing documentation of sexual violence against women farmworkers who harvest and pack agricultural goods, the factors in agriculture that heighten their risk and the challenges of finding effective solutions. 



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