More than 50% of women report workplace harassment. The objective of this study is to evaluate the relationship between exposure to workplace sexual harassment and the incidence of suicide and suicide events in women.
This prospective cohort study included a total of 86,451 men and women of working age who responded to a self-report questionnaire, including exposure to work-related sexual harassment. Of the participants, data on sexual harassment, follow-up time, and age were obtained for 85,205 people. The primary outcome of this study was the incidence of suicide, as well as suicide attempts determined from administrative registers.
During a mean follow-up of 12 years, 125 people (0.1%) died of suicide, and 816 (1%) had a suicide attempt. The overall analysis suggested that out of 85,205 participants, 4,095 experienced sexual harassment, of whom 11 committed suicide, as compared with 114 of 81,110 unexposed participants. Similarly, 61 exposed participants and 755 unexposed participants had a suicide attempt. Cox regression analysis indicated that workplace sexual harassment was associated with an increased risk of suicide (hazard ratio 2.82) and suicide attempts (1.59).
The research concluded that workplace sexual harassment in both men and women was correlated with an increased risk of suicidal behavior.