The first question is what exactly is sexual harassment at workplace? When any individual in your workplace asks you for sexual favours or makes sexual advances towards you or shows you any kind of obscene or vulgar images, it results in sexual harassment at workplace.
It can be written, verbal or physical in nature. Many women who suffer sexual harassment at workplace do not know how to deal with it. Here are some pointers which can help you deal with it.
How to Deal With Sexual Harassment At Workplace
At first you need to be as non-confrontational as possible. If you confront your harasser at the very first instance, it is quite possible that he might become defensive and aggressive in turn.
If you want to tell him that you do not appreciate his actions and would want him to keep a distance, do so but very calmly. Like for instance, you can tell him that you understand that he touched you by mistake and you would appreciate if he doesn’t crowd you.
Find a Confidante
You need to understand that all the steps that you would take when dealing with sexual harassment at workplace should be planned in such a manner that you would have your case ready if you need to file a formal complaint.
When you become a target for sexual harassment at your workplace, certain stories start doing the rounds. You need to have a confidante in your workplace, who you will tell the minutest details regarding the harassment incidents and your harasser’s behaviour. This way, if needed, you will have someone to backup your stories.
Keep a Record
Start maintaining a record or a journal where you would pen down all the details regarding the sexual harassment incidents that take place against you.
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Make sure you write down the tiniest details as if you need to produce the book during the hearing of the formal complaint, it will help corroborate your story. If any lewd messages or e-mails or notes have been sent to you by your harasser, then make sure you save them as proof.
Find Similar Victims
It is obvious that your harasser would have portrayed such behaviour previously with other employees in the workplace. You need to find previous or other current victims of your harasser. Make sure you do that discreetly. You wouldn’t want to ring alarm bells while going about finding information.
If you do find someone who has been in a similar position as you, then befriend that person and take her into confidence. There is strength in numbers. So if you need to file a formal complaint, you have someone who has suffered the same behaviour as you.
File a Formal Complaint
If the behaviour of your harasser persists and nothing that you do can deter him, then you need to file a formal complaint against him.
Every workplace is required to have a sexual harassment at the workplace committee who goes over such complains. During the hearing procedures, make sure you produce all the proof you have against your harasser and no matter what happens stick with your story.
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