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When settlements do occur, members do not pay them from their own office funds, a requirement in other federal agencies. Congressional employees have received small settlements, compared with the amounts some public figures pay out. The statistics do not break down the exact nature of the violations.
Instead, the confidential payments come out of a special U. Like Hollywood, where allegations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein touched off the recent #Me Too campaign, the Capitol Hill environment is dominated by powerful men who can make or break careers.
Briony Whitehouse was a 19-year-old intern in 2003 when she boarded an elevator in the Russell Senate Office Building with a Republican senator who, she said, groped her until the doors reopened.
She never reported the incident to her bosses for fear of jeopardizing her career.
“I was in the position of having no choice but reacting in a way that was going to make a big deal out of it in front his staff or his wife, or acting like nothing was happening. People she told about the incident said they were sorry it happened but not surprised, she recalled. The worst part was my other male colleagues would excuse it.
Her colleagues had described the former senator as “handsy.” One former Senate staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity out of fear of reprisals, said she was repeatedly groped at work events by a younger and more junior male staff member. He stayed on Capitol Hill for years.” Another former staffer described interning on the Hill at 16 while attending a local high school.
Ally Coll Steele, a Washington lawyer, shared her story about a former Democratic senator grabbing her buttocks at the Democratic National Convention in 2004.
She was an 18-year-old intern, and the senator’s wife and staff were standing nearby.
Neither she nor Farenthold’s office responded to requests for comment. C.) alleged former chief of staff Kenny West behaved inappropriately toward women.“I think we would find that sexual harassment is rampant in the institution.