Sexual harassment often makes the victim feel powerless. Many victims say there’s nothing they can do, so they just try to calm down. There is much that victims can do to stop the problem, including informal actions at work and formal steps, such as filing a lawsuit against those responsible. The following is what to do if you experience sexual harassment:
1. Speak frankly
The first step is to let the guilty party know that you find their behavior to be offensive. In many cases this can solve the problem. If this doesn’t solve the problem, at least the perpetrator knows that you find his behavior very disturbing.
2. Tell the bully to stop
You can try to tell the abuser to stop, even though this may be difficult for you. Make it clear that you want the abuser to stop sexually harassing you. This is also a very important step if you later decide to take more formal action. If the bully ignores your verbal requests to stop, or if you don’t feel comfortable being face-to-face with the bully, write a brief letter stating that their behavior offended you.
3. Search for policies
Check employee handbooks, written policies, and so on that include sexual harassment policies. Then follow the steps listed in the policy. Next, report to the person appointed as superior to receive the complaint.
4. Write it down
Describe in detail anything you have experienced or witnessed, which shows differences in treatment from men to women or vice versa. Many employees report a hostile environment. By reporting this way, you will not be protected from retaliation.
5. Documenting harassing behavior
It’s important to document what happened to you, and what you did to try to stop it. You must have sufficient evidence to report it to company investigators, government agencies, or courts. Start by gathering as much detailed evidence as possible about the harassment.
6. Processing to court
If a government agency issues a power of attorney, you can bring a civil suit for injuries you suffered as a result of sexual harassment. You don’t need to show physical injuries. The most common injuries in cases of sexual abuse are the emotional wounds suffered by the victim.