Sexual harassment has long been a problem for women in the workforce. In fact, according to reporting from NPR, more than 80% of women say they have experienced it. Still, sexual harassment is not only something women encounter at work.
Statistics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center paint an alarming picture. According to the NSVRC, 43% of men have been victims of sexual harassment or sexual assault during their lifetimes. Regrettably, though, men might not be quick either to identify sexual harassment or to report it.
How does sexual harassment look?
Doing your job effectively requires feeling comfortable at work. Sexual harassment makes you feel uncomfortable, though. Indeed, any of the following from your manager or coworkers probably crosses the line:
- Unwelcome sexual advances
- Unwanted physical contact
- Quid pro quo requests for sex
- Remarks of a sexual nature
How can sexual harassment affect you?
As you might expect, sexual harassment can make you feel icky. Beyond that, it also can negatively affect your mental well-being. Specifically, you might feel ashamed, angry or powerless. These feelings can lead to depression, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
What can you do about sexual harassment at work?
Many employers have sexual harassment policies, so it makes sense to review your company’s handbook to see if it outlines a procedure for fighting back. Otherwise, you should complain to your manager or human resources representative.
Your employer should investigate your complaint and take steps to stop the sexual harassment. If that does not happen, though, you ultimately may need to explore your legal options.