Sexual Harrassment

Sexual Harrassment | Types of Rape | Causes of Rape | Preventing Rape | Recovering From Rape | Child Sexual Abuse

In US sexual harrassment can take two forms as defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) guidelines. One form is referred to as “quid pro quo” that occurs when employer promises employee secured job and better treatment in exchange for sexual favors or when employer fires an employee because that employee will not go out or sleeps with him/her.

The second form is referred to as “hostile or offensive environment” that occur in work place or academic settings involving employers to employees or teachers to students engaging in unwelcome sexual advances and creating hostile abusive environment for the victims.

Sexual harrassment occurs in all professional levels and may include but not limited to making sexual comments, unwelcome attention, telling sexual jokes, unwelcome requests for date that is repeated, offensive language, violation of personal privacy, and unwanted display of sexual materials or pictures.

In more extreme cases sexual harrassment may include making sexual comments about a person’s body, verbal sexual abuse, unwelcome physical contact, requesting sexual services in exchange for better job or promotion, and in some cases it may involve sexual assault. This has negative effect on the victims affecting their job performance, career opportunities, and personal relationships.

Despite many businesses that have implemented programs educating employees about harrassment many victims remained silent to protect their career for fear that reporting the incidents will not lead to positive outcome but may result in more negativity towards them. Study indicated women who reported being harassed were view less trustworthy by others.

Below are suggested action guides you can take if you have been harassed on the job.

1. If someone harassed you or attempted to harass you, you can file criminal charges against the individual.

2. If the individual continued to harass you make it clear to him/her such behavior will not be accepted and you will file charges if he/she continues. Document the incidents in writing that you can address to the harasser and keep a written record for future evidence.

3. If the offender does not stop, talk to your supervisor or human resources.

4. If the supervisor or human resources takes no action, talk to your co-workers as some of them may have also been harassed. When group of people come forward to provide support you have better chance of ending the harassment.

5. If you have tried everything and fail, file an official complaint with your city or state Human Rights Commission and request the local office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to investigate the incidents.

6. Finally, take legal action by filing lawsuits in federal courts under the Civil Rights Act or under city or state laws prohibiting employment discrimination.

Sexual harrassment also take place in academic setting when male professor make unwanted sexual advance on female student or requesting sexual services from female students in exchange for better grade.

If you are a victim it is important that you report the incidents to the authority to prevent others from being victimized. You can report the incident to the dean or contact the campus officer who deals with civil rights actions. You are protected by federal affirmative action guidelines that forbid discrimination against people who file legitimate claims of sexual harassment.

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