Sexual harassment is a serious issue, and each year, over five thousand sexual harassment claims are filed with the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission alone.
Many sexual harassment cases are handled in criminal and civil courts as well. If you’re facing sexual harassment at work, the first step is to remember that there are resources available for victims.
Thus, if you feel like you have a sexual abuse claim it’s wise to seek out resources, including legal advice offered by attorneys.
Next, you’ll want to document as much as possible. It’s smart to keep a journal with dates and times and a recount of what happened.
It’s best to keep this journal and any gathered evidence somewhere safe, such as on a personal computer, rather than company devices.
In some cases, it may also be okay to record interactions with employers and fellow employees, although the laws around recording people are complex. It’s wise to speak with legal experts before recording anyone.
What types of events might folks document? One of the most common and obvious forms of sexual harassment are quid pro quo offers.
Essentially, a boss will offer you benefits, say a promotion or bonus, in exchange for sexual favors.
Someone may also be engaging in unwanted touching, say placing hands on your shoulders for an extended period of time.
It’s also smart to watch for and document if you’re being treated differently. For example, you may be treated differently in meetings, or while your employer is reviewing submitted work.
This may not always be due to sexual harassment, but different treatment certainly could be tied up with it.
When possible, it’s smart to screenshot or otherwise document the treatment and specifically how someone is being treated differently.
Mental health resources can also help people cope with the impact of sexual harassment. This is true before, during, and after filing complaints with the relevant authorities.
Sadly, sexual harassment is pervasive. Women are more likely to both experience and report sexual harassment.
However, this issue also plagues men as well. While sexual abuse claims have been shrouded by stigma for a long time, society is opening up.
Sexual abuse, mental health, and other issues previously swept under the rug are increasingly being discussed more openly.
It’s Vital to Fight Sexual Harassment
Fighting sexual harassment is crucial both on a personal and societal level. By fighting sexual harassment, employees can protect themselves and their careers.
Further, combating harassment will help make society a safer place. As more people fight sexual harassment, hopefully, fewer employers and employees will perpetuate it.
Anyone facing sexual harassment should consider consulting with a lawyer. Legal experts can help folks understand their rights, and also legal ways to gather and document evidence.
An attorney who specializes in sexual harassment can also advise people on how to proceed with fighting back.
This may mean reporting harassment to employers, contacting the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, or pursuing claims in court.
Sadly, some organizations won’t take sexual harassment seriously. Some may try to cover issues up, or may even punish those reporting abuse. By working with legal experts, it’s possible to help ensure that justice is ultimately delivered.
Beyond sexual abuse at work, many people experience it elsewhere. Students may face harassment or abuse at school.
Family members may also be perpetuating sexual abuse. Likewise, sexual abuse can happen at religious institutions.
In some cases, some resources, like the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, may not be relevant for victims of such abuses.
However, sexual harassment and abuse lawyers can still provide assistance and help folks find the appropriate resources.