Simply put, sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual advance. It can take on the form of verbal or physical conduct. Sexual harassment is unfortunately a common occurrence in the workplace. Many women are not knowledgeable on how to deal with the situation; others are either too shy or afraid of being stigmatized so they choose to keep quiet.
Sexual harassment is a very unpleasant experience and it is important to learn the ways to effectively deal with it. Many different ways to deal with sexual harassment exist, and the right approach to take depends on your particular situation.
Talk to the Person Directly
When the initial sexual harassment incident takes place, ask the person harassing you to stop. If your harasser continues displaying the same behavior, inform your harasser that you plan to file a report if the behavior continues. Some people discontinue their behavior once you threaten to report them. If the harasser fails to stop, you can take further action.
This is so important and it will help support your claim. Save text messages, emails, record phone calls, gather as much evidence as possible.
Find Other Victims and Witnesses
Search for other victims of sexual harassment by your harasser. You may find that some other victims have filed complaints in the past. Secure the testimony of any witnesses of your incidents in writing. This helps support your claim.
Inform Your Supervisor
If talking to your harasser did not stop the harassing behavior, report all incidents to your immediate supervisor. Write a formal letter to your supervisor detailing the events that took place. Ask your supervisor for a meeting to explain the situation in person.
Contact HR Manager
Even if you inform your supervisor, you should also contact your human resources manager. Human resources can inform you of the action you need to take concerning the sexual harassment incidents. The human resources manager should possess expert knowledge concerning sexual harassment and discrimination, and should be willing and able give you impartial advice.
Contact Senior Management
If your supervisor refuses to take action, you can file a formal complaint with your company’s senior management. Your senior manager should handle your situation with discretion and inform you of any further actions your must take. You must present all evidence and documentation concerning the incidents to senior management.
If your company doesn’t take any action on your complaint or doesn’t penalize the one harassing you, you can approach the National Commission for Women Affairs. They can approach the company on your behalf in an effort to force it to take action.
File a Lawsuit
You can possibly file a lawsuit. Seek monetary compensation for damages, or try to get your job back if your employer fired you due to the incident. If you plan to file a lawsuit, you should seek legal representation from an attorney who handles sexual harassment cases.
Do you know other ways that women can deal with sexual harassment? Please share in the comment section.
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