How To Identify Sexual Harassment At Work




Sexual harassment is a serious criminal offense that can put the accused employee or the employer in court. Thousands of coercive incidences happen each year, especially in job settings, yet only a few become legal cases. “There is a pattern to close ranks, admit nothing and blame the victim,” says C. Brady Wilson, PhD, a psychologist in Scottsdale, Arizona, who specializes in sexual harassment and workplace trauma.

Indeed, it isn’t entirely due to lack of access to authorities since social media, and police hotlines are available now. A lot of the sufferers can’t come forward because they are not sure if they have just been violated or not. According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D., “The most important thing a person needs to realize if they are the victim of sexual abuse is that it is not your fault.”

You see, the thing about sexual harassment is that it’s more of like an umbrella term. Although a colleague trying to make a pass on you is the generic depiction of it, it’s still coercion if the person leaves derogatory comments or won’t give you peace in the office.

Read on to see other scenarios that point to sexual harassment.




You experience gender discrimination.

It occurs, in general, in case there are sexists among your associates. They feel inclined to make fun of a specific gender, despite knowing that you or any member of that category is around. To them, it’s merely a joke, yet you’ll realize it no longer is once they begin doing it multiple times.


A co-worker sends indecent proposals.

Indecent proposals are highly inappropriate, regardless of the setting. It can be verbal (telling you directly), nonverbal (sending erotic gifts), or suggestive (showing nudes or pornographic videos). Nonetheless, they are all rude and coercive actions.


You receive lustful stares at work.

Looking at you as if they want to eat you alive is another ground for sexual harassment. No one should make you feel the need to watch your back because someone might just grab you. That’s a source of stress you don’t deserve to deal with, especially not in your workplace.


The colleague’s non-professional gestures put you in an uncomfortable position.

It is also considered as coercion if and when your co-worker invades your personal space or becomes too curious about your sex life. Each time you cross paths, they either whistle or attempt to touch any body part without your permission.

The typical response of such people once you call them out is that they’re just friendly. However, it’s possible that they’re violating your sexual privacy.


Someone tries to blackmail you into submission.

Many employees fall into this trap in fear of losing their livelihood or ruining their reputation. Your superior may force you to allow the advances

it is substantial evidence for the crime, so don’t be afraid to decline the malicious offers.




In The End

Can you recall a time when any of these situations happened to you or your loved ones? Thank the heavens if you can’t, and pray that it’ll never occur. It’s an entirely different story, however, in case you’ve experienced or are experiencing it. There are legal measures you can take to penalize those offenders – you don’t have to stay silent about it forever. “Talk to friends or family outside of work about what is going on; not only can they provide much-needed emotional comfort, they can also serve as contemporaneous witnesses to what is going on (from your perspective) and how it’s impacting you,” says Joni E. Johnston, Psy.D, a clinical/forensic psychologist. Support groups exist as well, should you require further assistance.