There are few experiences more harrowing and disheartening than encountering sexual harassment in the workplace. Sexual harassment can take the form of inappropriate comments, sexual propositions or unwelcome touching. You are trying to earn a living and further your career, but a colleague’s untoward advances can jeopardize this and make it difficult to do your job. What do you do when this happens?
This is unfair, but luckily, there is recourse following such an incident. The following three tips are the steps you should take immediately after any instance of sexual harassment. Though it is demoralizing, be proactive in protecting yourself from any further harassment by following these steps.
1. Report to your management
The first thing you should do following a sexual harassment incident is to report it to your management. Different employers have different policies for this process, but you should immediately inquire as to the correct procedure and follow it. According to Lifehacker, you should accompany your report with as many details as possible, including dates, names, times and specific accounts of what happened.
2. Investigate further recourse
In some situations, it simply is not possible to report sexual harassment to your management. Perhaps the harassment is coming from a manager, or maybe you work for a small company and are being harassed by the owner. Regardless of the cause, if you are facing this problem, you should research alternative recourse, including legal options. Hiring a legal representative can help you resolve the problem.
3. Take care of yourself
Perhaps the most important and most frequently overlooked step to follow after sexual harassment is to engage in some serious self-care. Incidents such as these are traumatic and often leave victims feeling scared and helpless. Take some time to recuperate and overcome the fear that might arise after the trauma. Standing up for yourself and reporting the abuse is the right thing to do.