How to Heal From Sexual Harassment
at the Workplace
Sexual harassment is a rampant problem in the workplace. Despite initiatives like “Me Too” that helped make sexual harassment reporting less taboo, there is still little data on that delicate topic. That’s why the team at Resume-Now stepped in and surveyed 785 American employees to learn who was harassed, who the perpetrators were, and how reporting went. Here’s a small dose of the things they discovered:
- 55% of our respondents had experienced sexual harassment at work (62% women and 48% men).
- 28% did not feel that their complaint of sexual harassment was taken seriously.
- 47% reported their employer did not offer sexual harassment training.
Check out the full study here...
Sexual harassment isn't just humiliating and uncomfortable for the victim, but, it is also highly devastating for them. In reality, sexual harassment can make the victim go through a lot of sufferings from depression to anxiety to shame, guilt, and self-blaming. If you have faced sexual harassment at the workplace, there are numerous things that you can do including online sexual harassment training.
The Law and Sexual Harassment
One of the primary steps in overcoming sexual harassment is to concede what happened to you and realise that it was wrong and inappropriate. As a matter of fact, sexual harassment is an extreme issue that needs to be regulated by the law. For instance, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says, that it’s a criminal offenceto bothersomeonedue to that individual’s sex.
It is alsoa criminal offence to make unwelcome sexual advances, requests sexual favours, touches a person inappropriately, makes sexual remarks, interacting in sexual bullying, and make or share sexually offensive jokes. Basically, anything and everything sexual in nature that creates an antagonisticworking atmosphere are considered to be sexual harassment.
Another important thing, sexual harassment isn't just restrained to male-to-female abuse although it is the most common form of sexual harassment that people usually come across. Male-to-male sexual harassment, female-to-female sexual harassment, and female-to-male sexual harassment are other types of sexual harassment which are a criminal offence.
Usually, the law does not apply to isolated teasing or offhand remarks, however, when it turns the workplace atmosphere toxic and in the aftermath, adverse employment conditions are created such as being fired due to sexual harassment or reprimanded.
Effect on Victims
Different people deal with the trauma of sexual harassment differently. If you have been a victim of sexual harassment, probably you might be shaken at first, and then lean into denial. These are normal responses and are typicallyaccompaniedby emotions of victimization, that canresult in very low self-esteem.
In addition to that, your reactionmay be so vast that you couldactually haveproblemsperforming day to day tasks. There are two things that you can do, either address and acknowledge the issue or leave the office.
Some other usual traits seen in the victims of sexual harassment are having issue sleeping, getting up in the morning, eating, exercising, or doing whatever that they used to think of as fun. While other signs and symptoms that victims can encompass are headaches, issues with concentration and focus, forgetfulness, issues with stomach, and blood pressure issues.
Additionally, you might feel betrayed, angry, powerless, hopeless, and not in control. And in the worst-case scenario, the victim may feel suicidal, which need to be addressed as soon as possible.
Tips on Healing From Sexual Harassment
Moving on from being sexually harassed at the workplace can appear to befrightening. You can additionallyfeel caught in a hopeless situation. But with a bitof work and some counselling, you will be able to cope with it, heal from it, and move on with your life. Here are a few steps that victims can take from online sexual harassment training in order to heal from the devastating incident.
- Accept what took place
With this, you validate your experience and the incident that took place. In no case make excuses for the perpetrator or belittle the issue. You are allowed to face your feelings and emotions. Don’t pile up the pain and anger you are feeling. All you need to do is find a healthy approach to feel and express thoseemotions. Some alternativescan be prayer, meditation, power yoga,and other activities that will help in reducing stress.
- Speak to a person about the harassment
It helps when you talk to a safe and genuine person. Find a person who will respect your feelings and will not judge you for what happened. It would be better to avoid people who might judge or take you for granted or would call you out by saying that you are overreacting or being over-emotional. If you don’t know any such person in your life, then it is better to join support groups. These groups will make you feel better because you will come across people who have been in similar situations and they will understand your situation instead of being judgemental.
- Create a Journal
Create a journal and start expressing yourself. That journal belongs to you, so you can openly share your feelings and write them down. A journal is the safest place to say anything with no filter-on. It will help you if you write a letter to your harasser. Write down everything that is in your mind and you wished you would have said to him/her but you couldn’t. It is very essential to get everything out of your system.
- Stop With The Self Blame
The victim-blaming has to stop because what happened to you is not your fault. And it will stop when you will believe it yourself. There is no need to be ashamed of or feel guilty about it. Blaming yourself will only slow down the healing process and moreover, it will push you towards depression and anxiety. The only person who should feel guilty and ashamed is the harasser for making the choice of harassing you in the first place. You need to motivate yourself and empower yourself by building your confidence again. And guilt will decrease your confidence not boost it.
- You Need A Closure
The most imperative part of a healing process is to let the past be in the past. If you constantly keep bringing up your past, it will ruin all your present moments. Sometimes, this could mean you need to switch jobs or careers. A lot of times, a person’s job becomes their identity, you can use this time to rediscover yourself and create an identity that describes you not your job profile. Try meeting new people in order to forget the people from that horrible past. Getting closure is the best way to move on and be happy and confident again.
Author’s Bio - Clear Law Institute is the provider of online sexual harassment training that is based on several federal and state laws. It has connected with 50 states and their law and there are different instructional design and learning games for better understanding and knowledge.