Understanding the Individual Impact of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can take on a variety of forms and can happen in a variety of contexts. With the advent of the internet and computers, sexual harassment can and oftentimes does occur in an online setting, such as through a social media platform, on message boards, and in chat rooms. 

If you believe that you are the victim of sexual harassment, it is important that you report it as soon as possible. That way, the proper authorities can become involved, and the harassment can be put to an end. If your harassment happened in your work context, it is also important that you speak with a knowledgeable California workplace sexual harassment attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will be able to discuss all of your legal options with you and help you bring the harassment to a permanent conclusion.

Defining Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment refers to physical or verbal harassment of a sexual nature, requests for sexual favors, and unwelcome sexual advances. In many instances, sexual harassment takes place in the workforce, but it does not have to happen there. Given that many individuals have online presences on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other social media platforms, sexual harassment can also take place online. Even body shaming and derogatory comments about a person’s physical appearance or body can amount to sexual harassment.

If you are the victim of sexual harassment that occurs in the workplace, your first step should be to notify human resources or a point-of-contact person who can take the necessary and appropriate actions. If the sexual harassment occurs online, you should report the harassment to the website owner or forum moderator, who can then take appropriate actions against the user who is engaging in the harassment. Social media websites, including Facebook and Twitter, have links on which you can report instances of abuse or harassment that occur on these sites.

Effects of Sexual Harassment on an Individual

Sexual harassment can affect different people in different ways. First of all, this type of harassment can produce severe emotional effects, including a feeling of powerlessness, violation, betrayal, humiliation, anger, shame, or fear. In some cases, the harassment might be so intense that the victim even feels guilty about the situation.

Also, depending upon the individual person, the victim could experience negative mental health effects, including developing a substance-abuse addiction or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The victim might also experience panic attacks, anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts.

Finally, a victim of sexual harassment might experience various physical effects, including fatigue, headaches, eating disorders, above-average stress levels, and difficulty sleeping. As a result, depending upon the person, he or she might have to seek medical, psychiatric, or psychological treatment as a result of the after-effects of sexual harassment or abuse. 

If you believe that you are a victim of sexual harassment, either in person or online, it is important that you contact a knowledgeable California workplace sexual harassment lawyer. Your attorney will be able to review the circumstances of the harassment with you and can help you take the necessary action to get the harassment to stop.

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