Paul said in a statement that the goal is "not only to raise awareness, but also make abundantly clear that harassment in any form has no place in this institution".
Virginia Congresswoman Barbara Comstock told FOX 5 she knew one former Capitol Hill staffer who had a Congressman expose himself to her. And a young staffer ― it was a young woman ― went there and was greeted with a member in a towel.
In late October, as once-secret stories of sexual harassment and assault perpetrated by Hollywood producers, journalists and others poured into public view, the California lawmaker shared her own story of assault and encouraged other former and current Hill employees to come forward with their own.
Comstock - who worked on Capitol Hill as a staffer early in her career and served in the Virginia House of Delegates before being elected to represent Northern Virginia's 10th District previous year - said Congress needs more training and stronger safeguards in place to ensure women don't have to give up their careers to escape sexually aggressive behavior. And think twice before speaking out about sexual harassment from a boss - it could cost you your career.
The legislator remains on Capitol Hill, she testified.
One lawmaker, Republican Rodney Davis of IL, said that some female staffers in his office anxious that "some offices might take a shortcut and not hire women as a way to avoid these issues". The Senate just last week passed a resolution making sexual harassment training mandatory, not just for staffers and interns, but also for Senate lawmakers.
"Obviously, that's not the right approach", he said. Tuesday's hearing was stark and sometimes graphic.
Between 1997 and 2014, a little known Congressional fund paid out $15.2 million to 235 people who made sexual harassment claims in Congress.
Meanwhile, several Democrats are sponsoring legislation that would change the way sexual harassment complaints are handled. "All they ask in return is that we fix our abusive system and hold perpetrators accountable". Comstock said there should be clear-cut rules about the kinds of relationships and behaviors that are off-limits and create a hostile work environment.
In the Senate, Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, is proposing a bill that would streamline the reporting process in the Office of Compliance, the little-known office that handles such complaints.
The lawmaker said that now, if a victim of harassment were to report to the compliance office, they would first be required to undergo mandatory counseling for 30 days. "But mandatory training is one very important component of trying to stop this".