Sexual harassment in the workplace is a thing. Many employees who experience sexual harassment at their place of work often fail to do anything about it either because they are scared of losing their job, they have no idea if what they are experiencing is worthy of legal action or they don’t even understand what constitutes sexual harassment even though they feel uncomfortable with what’s happening.
Sexual harassment includes any form of unwelcome sexual advances, your boss or fellow employee asking you for sexual favors in exchange for something you want for instance. Sexual harassment is not always physical, it can also come in verbal forms like comments with sexual overtones, inappropriate inquiries about your sex life, unwelcome whistling directed at you or unwelcome graphic comments about your body.
If your daily experience in your workplace is rife with any of the above situations, you can take the following approaches to deal with the sexual harassment:
Seek Professional Advice
When it comes to issues of sexual harassment, every situation is unique. What works for one person may not work for you. That is why seeking professional advice like consulting a legal practitioner should be your first point of action. As a professional, he/she will be in the best position to advice you on the best way to handle your issue.
If the harassment affects your mental health, you’d also do well to visit a therapist.
Express Your Displeasure
If the harassment is not predatory or doesn’t make you feel unsafe, you should make it clear to the offender that you are not comfortable with whatever they are doing in explicit terms. Letting the offender know you are not okay with their sexual advances will be a good point for you if you ever decide to report the case. You’d be able to truthfully say that you’ve expressed your displeasure to the offender.
Find A Support Network
Don’t keep things to yourself, sexual harassment can be emotionally taxing. Surround yourself with supportive family members, friends or mentors and let them know what is happening. They’d make you feel like you are not alone in that situation—which is a good thing at that moment. You’d also receive helpful advice from them.
If you want to report the case, it will be more convincing if you document everything that is happening. When you keep a record of each instance of sexual harassment, you’d be able to pinpoint specific dates, behaviors or comments when laying a complaint.
Report The Matter
When you’ve tried all you can to put an end to the harassment but it keeps happening, you may have no other option than to report the case. Ensure you follow due procedures when making a complaint.