If you’re a woman, you’ve probably experienced sexual harassment at some point in your life. It can be a challenging thing to face if you’re a victim or witness to something like this. You might feel uncomfortable, guilty, or ashamed. These are all normal feelings, and while sexual harassment is something that is being dealt with more severely at workplaces, it’s still important to have prevention training.
Sexual harassment prevention can help teach you and your coworkers all about the signs of sexual harassment and how to stop it in its tracks. It can help build a safer, more accepting work environment for everyone by educating all employees about sexual harassment and its effects on victims.
There are a lot of companies that can come in and help support this education process. You can take a look at this link below for more information on the California sexual harassment training process if you’re interested in getting your coworkers involved in this training. https://www.traliant.com/californias-new-sexual-harassment-training-requirements/
Sexual harassment prevention training can help make sure that sexual harassment doesn’t happen anymore. For more information about Sexual Harassment and the prevention policies, keep reading below.
What is Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment in the workplace can happen to anyone. Both men and women can be perpetrators as well as victims of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual conduct which can include sexual propositions, joking, touching, or sexual favors.
Many people who are victims of sexual harassment in the workplace are embarrassed or scared to come forward, especially if it’s being perpetrated by someone in power. That’s why it’s so important to speak up when you hear or see something. Don’t let something slide for fear of retaliation. Always, always, always report.
Signs of sexual harassment
This is something you’ll eventually go over in sexual harassment training. Signs of sexual harassment can be obvious or they can be extremely subtle. This is why it’s so important to always keep your ears and eyes open in the workplace. If the sexual harassment is done quietly or subtly, it can make it even more difficult for the victim to come forward because he or she feels like they’re alone.
While you’re keeping your ears open and your eyes peeled, you should keep an eye out for certain signs. A lot of people don’t realize that they’re witnessing sexual harassment or experiencing it firsthand, so I always like to identify the signs first.
Verbal or visual
Jokes, language, or images that are sexual in nature- This is a huge sign of sexual harassment and is one of the easiest ways to make many people uncomfortable at once. If you hear any jokes or language directed at someone in the workplace that is explicit or sexual in nature, then you really need to report it. Chances are they’ve been dealing with other forms of sexual harassment that they’ve been too afraid to admit.
Physical Contact- this is one of those signs that can be one of the most obvious or subtle signs that a person is being sexually harassed. Unwanted sexual touching can include kissing, pinching, squeezing, or grabbing a part of the human body that is deemed as private. Hugging can also be a form of sexual harassment if it’s unwanted. Contact like this isn’t obvious all the time but if something made you feel uncomfortable, chances are it made the person involved uncomfortable. Always say something.
For more signs you’re experiencing sexual harassment at work, check out this website.
Reporting Sexual Harassment
I always suggest letting your harasser know at the moment that what they’re doing is inappropriate. Chances are, they didn’t really consider the joke they just made harmful instead of funny. I know it’s hard to believe but there are a lot of rude, vulgar people out there who are uneducated in this sense.
While it’s not okay, clearly stating your boundaries first before you report anything will help your case in the future. I say this because you never want to be in a position where someone asks you “why didn’t you tell them to stop?” Say it out loud to the person and if it’s near witnesses, the better.
If the behavior continues, and unfortunately it probably will be depending on the context, it’s important to go straight to the supervisor and then HR. You need to document all of your claims in writing so they can be dealt with accordingly. Name witnesses, if there are any, and be as specific as you can. I know it can be really difficult to talk about, but you need to be able to do this so that in the event that you need to go to court, later on, you have written proof that you experienced sexual harassment.