A working environment is a place in which all workers should feel safe, supported and protected. However, unfortunately, it is not always this way. Sexual harassment can appear in many forms, from sexually inappropriate jokes to requests for sexual favors in return for career advancement.
Not only are victims of sexual harassment made to feel oppressed and may be vulnerable to retaliation if they resist advances or speak up, but they can also often feel deep shame or embarrassment. Taking action to hold the initiator responsible for their behavior can be the first step toward healing.
What emotional damages can sexual harassment victims suffer?
While the severity and pervasiveness of sexual harassment can affect the extent to which a victim will suffer emotionally, even the most seemingly minor incidents can lead to emotional damages. The victim may, for example, suffer from anxiety due to feeling uncomfortable in the workplace for so long. They may also experience trauma, which will require counseling or therapy to fully move on from.
Can filing a sexual harassment claim be helpful for my recovery?
Many victims of workplace sexual harassment find that taking action to file a claim helps them to gain closure. By acknowledging that they were the victim of wrongful behavior, they may be able to accept that they were, in fact, the victim, and in the process, relieve themselves of feelings of guilt and shame. However, some people struggle to relive the experiences when filing a claim, so you should engage in careful consideration first.
If you have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace, taking action to gain justice could help you move forward and could protect your career in the process.