• How Can You Cope with Sexual Harassment at Work? Why Should You Care?

    sexual harassment in a workplace, sexual harassment prevention training, harassment at work, sexual abuse
    February, 2022

    How Can You Cope with Sexual Harassment at Work? Why Should You Care?

    sexual harassment in a workplace, sexual harassment prevention training, harassment at work, sexual abuse

    Sexual harassment in a workplace can cause the victim to experience everything from depression and anxiety to shame, guilt, and self-loathing. If you have been the victim of sexual harassment at work, there are a few practical steps you can take to recover.

    Recognition. One of the first steps you can take to overcome sexual harassment is to admit what happened to you and realise that it was wrong.

    Against the Australian laws. Sexual harassment is also against the Australian laws.  It is against the law to engage in sexual misconduct, soliciting sexually explicit material, or engaging in sexually explicit jokes. Anything about sex that creates a hostile work environment is considered sexual harassment.

    It is not gender specific. Furthermore, sexual harassment is not limited to the sexual abuse of men and women, although it is a very common form of sexual harassment. Sexual abuse of women to women, sexual abuse of men to men, and sexual abuse between women and men are also possible.

    Although the law rarely applies to isolated incidents of ridicule or teasing, it is harassment when it creates a toxic workplace or when it results in poor employment conditions such as dismissal or suspicion of sexual harassment.

    It has impacts on health. It impacts physical and psychological health of individuals. Some of the symptoms that help identify victims of sexual abuse are that they may have trouble sleeping, waking up in the morning, eating, exercising, and withdrawal from the activities they used to enjoy. Other symptoms that can lead to sexual harassment may include headaches, difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, stomach problems, and high blood pressure.

    You may also feel betrayed, angry, powerless, hopeless, and out of control. And in extreme cases, victims may suffer from depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts.

    Some steps victims of sexual harassment could take to cope with sexual assault

    Talk to someone about harassment

    It is always helpful to talk to a safe person. Try to find someone who will respect your feelings and opinions. Do not share your thoughts and feelings with someone who will tell you that you are overreacting or upset. If you do not have someone to talk to about your experience, consider joining a support group or starting your own.

    Describe your experience

    Describe how sexual harassment affected you. Examine the different emotions you feel. Sometimes it helps to include in your journal a letter to the abuser. Say all the things you wish you had said, but you did not. It can be very healing to get all that out of your system. Recording your thoughts in a journal can also help to make sense of what has been happening to you. And your journal is a safe place to voice whatever is on your mind without filtering your thoughts.

    Avoid blaming yourself

    What happened to you was not your fault. You did not cause it and you cannot control anyone else. Remind yourself that you have nothing to be ashamed of and you should not feel guilty. Self-criticism will delay your healing. Only the guilty person is the perpetrator. They have chosen to sexually harass you. The only decision you can make in this regard, is to acknowledge, and respond to deal with what happened to you. Remember, you can fully control your response and where you are going from here. Focus on that fact, be brave and let it empower you.

    Find Options

    An important part of the overcoming process is to lay back and avoid the trauma you have experienced. Sometimes this means changing jobs or occupations. Very often, personal identity is tied to their work. Instead, rediscover what makes you who you are. Start a new hobby and develop new hobbies. Find a healthy way to handle, and try to stay positive about what is going on in your life.

    Use experience to help others

    Sometimes, you can bring meaning to what happened to you by integrating your knowledge into your life in some way. For example, you could write a blog about your experiences and give suggestions to readers. Alternatively, you can lead a support group, build a website for victims of abuse, or talk to others. Another option is to volunteer for non-profit groups dealing with sexual harassment. The key is to take a bad experience and turn it into something positive. Doing so helps build your resilience.

    Get help

    If you find it difficult to continue after your experience, you may benefit from seeing a counsellor who specialises in dealing with sexual harassment in the workplace. Professional counsellors for sexual harassment or bullying may be helpful. Additionally, if you have been harassed at work or school, attorneys have advised you not to use your school or the employer’s mental health services. Sometimes privacy lines are blurred and the mentor will share your information with others in the organisation. In extreme cases, they may even try to protect the organisation from suspicion. It is always best to find a counsellor outside of sexual harassment. Not only is this an additional protection for your privacy, but you may also find it easier to open up to someone who may not be associated with the organisation where the abuse took place.

    Report

    It is important to report what happened to you. In the end, the perpetrator could continuously harass you or harass another person. Do you know about the Respect@Work report, there has been some changes on the Fairwork Act. These changes include the provisions for Sexual Harassment at work, and stopping the harassment. Anyone in a workplace, experiencing Sexual harassment can place a “Stop Sexual Harassment at work” order through Fairwork Commission. Externally, you can also report this to State/Territory regulators. Internally, can report this to your company. Remember you are not alone, as Ana Navarro stated we all have a duty, must have zero tolerance for sexual harassment, even if the perpetrator is somebody we like and admire.

    Training staff on Workplace sexual harassment prevention is important, as it effects health and productivity. Also, it is against the law.

    Do you know WHS and Training Compliance Solutions is offering Sexual Harassment Prevention Training in an e-learning platform?

    Our e-learning program is comprehensive, can be completed by the employees any time, any day, any place. It is an interactive e-learning program, that has scenarios that has been adopted from real court cases, in order to increase awareness, encourage change in behaviour.

    How can you register for our e-learning sexual harassment prevention training?

    Online registration will require you to visit our e-learning market place   or visit our webpage. You can make a payment in both weblinks.

    What if we have a group of employees to attend? At this instance, you can contact us with the list of employees, and we will organise your team’s access to our e-learning program.

    We do provide our training sexual harassment prevention training onsite within Australia.

    Contact us for more information.

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