How to deal with sexual harassment at work?

It is crucial to realize that sexual harassment in the workplace is a very common scenario for a woman. What matters is not why they do it but how you react to the situation and ensure that the culprit does not simply get away with any act of workplace harassment.

Workplace harassment

Flickr/CC/Arnaud Meuret

What exactly is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment may include any sexual advances or forced behavior that offends you. It might be verbal or nonverbal. Sexual harassment constitutes of any request for sexual favor, any sexual threat, any suggestive comment or inappropriate touching. While women are more prone to sexual harassment, men are also victims at times.

How to deal with sexual harassment?

The first and foremost thing to realize is that it is not your fault. Yes, we are raised in a society where a woman is going to be blamed for being sexually harassed but trust me, you are a woman and women do not find strength, in fact strength finds them. So, be courageous and go ahead with filing a complaint without any fear of any sort.

Be informed of sexual harassment policy:

Before any such situation of workplace harassment occurs, you must ask HR to give you information on company’s policy towards sexual harassment. Preparing yourself beforehand is going to help you devise an intelligent plan to respond to any such act in the future.

Take care of your dressing:

It is crucial to take care of company’s policy regarding dress code because if you do not follow the dress code and wear any suggestive dress then your employer might suspect you for luring the person into making an advance.

Immediately report:

The worst thing to be done in such a scenario is to give the person a second chance and warn him. Simply go ahead with reporting it and do not choose to stay silent, as it will make the culprit think that you are a weak person and he might do something more daring the next time.

Document the incident:

Make sure that you do not delete the messages or communications taken place between you and the offender. As an investigation is carried out after the complaint, it is crucial that you save any material that can strengthen your case. So, always try to record phone calls or even use the recording feature of your smartphone to record the conversation.

Do not hesitate to go ahead:

It will not always be your junior who will try to sexually harass you. An offender might be in a senior position and sometimes it might even be your boss. In such a scenario, talk to your lawyer and make sure that the person does not get away with misusing his authority and taking advantage of you thinking you will be helpless.

So, go ahead and let them know you mean business and you are a strong lady so, no one dares to bat an evil eye on you anywhere you go.



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