AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment, according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature in the workplace or in the workplace environment. study.

Although sexual harassment laws do not typically cover teasing or casual comments, these behaviors can also be disruptive and have a negative emotional impact.

What does sexual harassment look like?

Sexual harassment can occur in many circumstances. The harasser can identify as any gender and have any relationship to the victim, including a direct supervisor, indirect supervisor, co-worker, teacher, peer, or colleague.

Some forms of sexual harassment include:

  • Conditioning conditions of employment or promotion on sexual favors, either explicitly or implicitly.

  • Physical sexual assault.

  • Requests for sexual favors.

  • Verbal harassment of a sexual nature, including jokes about sexual acts or sexual orientation.

  • Unwanted touch or body contact.

  • Unwanted sexual advances.

  • Talking about sexual relationships / stories / fantasies at work, school, or other inappropriate places.

  • Feeling pressured to have sex with someone.

  • Exposing or participating in sexual acts with oneself.

  • Spam sexually explicit photos, emails or text messages.

What is the difference between sexual assault and harassment?

Sexual harassment is a broad term that encompasses many types of unwanted verbal and physical sexual attention. Sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior that occurs without the consent of the victim. Sexual harassment is generally against civil law – you have the right to work or study without being harassed – but in many cases it is not a criminal act, while sexual assault is generally related to criminal acts. Some forms of sexual assault are:

  • Entering the victim’s body, also known as rape.

  • Attempted rape.

  • Forcing a victim to participate in sexual acts such as oral sex or penetration of the body of the aggressor.

  • Unwanted fondling or sexual contact.

Sexual misconduct describes a wide range of behaviors that may involve harassment. For example, some companies prohibit sexual relations between employees or between an employee and his boss, even if the relationship is consensual.

Where can sexual harassment occur?

Sexual harassment can occur in any place, including workplace or learning environment such as a school or university. This can happen in many different settings, including after-hours conversations, exchanges in the hallways, and out of the office with coworkers or colleagues.

What should I do if I have witnessed sexual harassment?

You may have heard the term “bystander intervention” to describe how to step in to help when you see someone in danger or sexual assault. Audience intervention can also be a useful strategy when sexual harassment is witnessed. You don’t have to be a hero to positively influence someone else’s life, and you can intervene in any way that suits your comfort level and the situation. If you decide to intervene, you may be able to give the person being bullied a chance to go to safety or get out of the situation.

Create a distraction. Do what you can to stop the bullying or distract the people involved in the bullying. But remember that this will not put you at risk. If someone looks like they might be violent, don’t call their attention.

Ask directly. Talk directly to the person who is being bullied. If they are harassed at work or school, offer to accompany them anytime they need to meet with the harasser. If a friend is afraid to walk to his car alone at night, offer to accompany him.

Contact a government agency. Perhaps the safest way to intervene for both you and the person being harassed is to call a person in authority. You can speak to another employee, security officer, RA in your bedroom, waiter, or doorman and they will often be ready to intervene.

Hire others. It can be difficult to step in on your own, especially if you are concerned for your own safety or don’t think you can help on your own. It may be a good idea to enlist the help of a friend or other spectator.

What are the effects of sexual harassment?

Experiencing sexual harassment may cause some survivors to face emotional, physical, or mental health problems. Some of them could be:

Emotional effects:

  • Anger

  • Fear

  • Humiliation

  • Shame

  • Guilt

  • Betrayal

  • Injury

  • Fainting and loss of control

  • Psychological effects

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

  • Panic attacks

  • PTSD

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Loss of motivation

  • Substance abuse

  • Suicidal thoughts

  • Physical effects:

  • Increased stress

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Sleep disorders

  • Eating disorders