A lot of people face sexual harassment in the world today both in and out of the work place environment. Wherever the location it occurs, it is not a very good thing and it has a demoralizing effect on the person involved. Some of the effects are lack of confidence, sleep troubles, constant fear, constant looking over your shoulder, being unproductive at work, and general depression.
Here are Ways To Handle Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
There are various reasons people are harassed sexually. It could be for physical, mental, emotional or even social reasons. For whatever reasons it could be, take a good look at yourself. Does your image suggest or portray provocativeness? Does your dressing illicitly attract the opposite sex the wrong way? If yes then work on improving the way you dress and look in order to prevent such harassment. Most men are moved by what they see and if care is not taken, they can judge you wrongly. Although your dressing might not be why you are being harassed but it’s good to rule this area out before finding out possible reasons why this is so.
TALK TO SOMEONE ABOUT IT
Most times in the work place, people are harassed by their superiors or even colleagues. If this is the case, you need to tell someone you trust about it. Once you notice such an act, do not keep quiet about it. This is because once someone is in the know, it’s easier to defend yourself if the need arises at least you’ll have someone to back you up and you don’t feel alone.
TALK TO HIM/HER
Most of the time, silence means or connotes consent so keeping quiet might send the wrong message. Summon courage and speak to that person irrespective of who they are but be polite about it so they don’t use it against you and your job. If he or she reacts negatively, don’t over react but at least you know you’ve bared your mind.
It is important you gather evidence, keep records of conversation, text messages, email of any inappropriate language of sexual harassment. You can even get a voice recorder to record your conversation discreetly. You will need concrete evidence to back your claim because sexual harassment in the workplace is a serious offense.
TALK TO A HIGHER SUPERVISOR OR SUPERIOR
If your talk with him or her doesn’t go well and the harassment still persists, talk to someone higher than him and seek advice.
STAGE AN INTERVENTION
Solidarity works effectively sometimes better than working singly. Don’t be shy about it but seek help from other colleagues in order to remedy this situation. Once it’s made public, I am very sure the person responsible will have learnt his or her lesson.
WALK IN GROUPS
Try as much as possible not to stay out too late nor walk alone but walk in pairs so that further harm doesn’t come your way. If your harasser notices you’re always in the midst of people, he or she would be put off and gradually let you be.
ACQUIRE A SECRET WEAPON
These things come in handy in unexpected moments. Have a secret weapon which can serve as a form of defense when the need arises such as a pepper spray. Keep it in your bag at all times.
FILE A LAWSUIT
In an event that the sexual harassment gets you fired, you can consult the service of a lawyer with experience in sexual harassment to seek advice and file a lawsuit for financial compensation for damages or to get your job back.
“To be forewarned is to be forearmed.”
Further Reading: How To Handle a Difficult Boss at Work
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