Sexual harassment in the workplace is a behavior of sexual nature that offends a job seeker or employee. If you feel like you may be part of such an unpleasant scenario, there are ways to get better informed about it and protect yourself.
The most common FAQS regarding sexual harassment in the workplace are related to how a person can spot and identify this behavior, how they can address it, but also other questions that may be troubling them.
Bullying in the workplace, on the other hand, is explained as repeated, prolonged mistreatment, with acts of violence, repression, and humiliation. The person who is the target of such behavior ends up in a defenseless situation.
In the article below, we take a closer look at these two issues.
Signs of Sexual Harassment and Bullying
Being aware and recognizing the signs of bullying and sexual harassment can stop them from being repeated and help to protect yourself and others.
Sexual harassment is when someone
- initiates unwanted physical contact
- attempts unwelcome sexual advances, glances, whistles, and comments about appearance
- uses gender words, pornographic images, and derogatory jokes about your gender identity
- makes body remarks or asks about body parts, clothing, or intimate life
- writes sexually explicit letters, emails, text messages, or phone calls
- suggests or demands sexual intercourse
Bullying is when someone
- talks meanly with the intention to hurt another person
- shouts threaten, exercises pressure
- gossips, slanders
- isolates, leaving someone outside the group
- touches someone inappropriately or offends through sexual talk
- completely stops communicating
- constantly criticizes the work for no reason
- makes the work more difficult and distributes the tasks unfairly
- breaks agreements made without the other’s consent
All behavior that makes you sad is not bullying anyway. Having different opinions or thinking differently is not bullying.
Things the Victim Should Keep in Mind
The Victim Decides What Harassment Is
Sometimes it’s hard to know when something’s okay, and when it’s not. It may feel fine at first, for instance, if a person puts their hand on your shoulder. But it can start to feel uncomfortable if the person’s hand slides down over your back and behind.
It’s your feelings that count and you need to trust them. Only you can determine if something feels distressing.
It’s Never Your Fault
It can feel difficult to process your emotions and know what to do if you’re being sexually harassed or bullied. You may think that you have to put up with it, or that you have done something wrong.
But you must always know that it’s never your fault and it doesn’t matter what you look like, what you’re wearing, or what relationship you have.
What to Do If You’re Sexually Harassed or Bullied?
If you’ve been exposed to this behavior and feel lost, here are some suggestions as to what you can do.
Observe the situation:
If something feels off, you should ask yourself what exactly happened. Sexual harassment is characterized by behavior with sexual undertones that violate someone’s dignity. It can be comments, looks, or inappropriate invitations. Ask the person to stop the unwanted behavior and stress that the behavior is unwelcome.
It’s up to the employer to handle the situation, but first, they need to know what is going on. You can tell a coworker, HR, or contact the employer directly and even choose to talk to a union representative at your workplace.
Save text messages, emails, or notes that are perceived as offensive. It’s also good to write down what is said and done. If your employer fails in their responsibility to investigate information about sexual harassment, you can file a report. In addition, you can report the person who is harassing you to the police because certain acts are criminal.
Every workplace must have guidelines where it is clearly stated that sexual harassment and bullying are not accepted, and tell employees how they’re handled if they do unfortunately happen.
Being bullied or even sexually harassed is a serious situation and a form of discrimination nobody deserves. Various health problems that threaten a person’s well-being, such as anxiety, irritation, difficulty concentrating, poor sleep, and depression, can turn out to be consequences of such an unpleasant event in a person’s life.
It is important to recognize the signs and report any such instances. It may be a good road to recovering and getting better if you feel you’ve done everything in your power to stop it.
It’s important to pay attention to them so that they can be addressed on time and prevented from being done to others.