In the flood of work-related sexual harassment and assault allegations pouring out after women came forward with allegations against Harvey Weinstein, some have asked why victims of such abuses don’t speak out sooner.

The answer is a complicated one that includes gender, class and age-related power dynamics—and nondisclosure agreements. A popular part of settlement agreements that binds signers into confidentiality on a varying range of topics, NDAs have recently come under scrutiny after victims said they were used as tools to keep them silent on abuse.

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