Published on Tuesday, the report indicates that around 8.2 million Italian women aged between 14 and 65 – that is 43.6 per cent – have experienced sexual harassment in their lifetime.

Around 1.4 million women reported experiencing physical harassment or sexual blackmail in the workplace, 425,000 of them within the last three years.

Meanwhile, 1.7 million women claimed to have been victims of sexual blackmail in order to be hired, promoted, or to keep their job.

In addition, 80 per cent of those women said they had told no one at work about the incident, while Istat reported that “almost no one” had reported the blackmail to police.

For the first time, the agency also investigated men’s experience of sexual harassment, and found that 3.75 million men – that is 18.8 per cent – had experienced some form of harassment.

The perpetrators of harassment were male in 97 per cent of cases where the victim was female, and in 85.4 per cent of cases where the victim was male.

The harassment took many forms, with verbal harassment being the most commonly reported kind, followed by unwanted touching.