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Sexual harassment is more than just verbal abuse

On Behalf of | Jun 8, 2024 | Employment Law |

Sexual harassment is a serious issue that affects many people. It goes beyond just verbal abuse and includes various forms of unwanted behavior.

These behaviors can make someone feel uncomfortable, unsafe and disrespected.

Physical harassment

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, between 2018 and 2021, there were more than 98,000 sexual harassment complaints. One common form of sexual harassment is physical harassment. This includes unwanted touching, groping or any other physical contact that makes someone feel violated. Physical harassment invades personal space and can cause significant distress. It is important to respect personal boundaries and understand that any unwanted physical contact is unacceptable.

Visual harassment

Visual harassment is another form that often gets overlooked. This includes leering, making obscene gestures or showing inappropriate images. Visual harassment can occur in person or through digital means, such as text messages or social media. Seeing explicit images or gestures without consent can be deeply troubling and can contribute to a hostile environment.

Non-verbal harassment

Sexual harassment also includes non-verbal cues. For example, someone might make suggestive looks or engage in body language meant to intimidate or humiliate. Non-verbal harassment can be subtle, but it is equally damaging. It can create an atmosphere of fear and discomfort, making it difficult for the victim to feel safe.

Cyber harassment

Cyber harassment is a growing concern in today’s digital age. This involves using the internet or electronic devices to harass someone. It can include sending unwanted explicit messages, sharing private information or spreading rumors online. Cyber harassment can be relentless and can follow the victim everywhere, making it hard to escape.

Sexual harassment in the workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace is particularly damaging. It affects the victim’s mental health and can hinder their professional growth. It creates an environment where people feel undervalued and fearful, which can lower productivity and morale. Employers and colleagues must take steps to prevent and address sexual harassment to ensure a safe and respectful workplace.

Everyone deserves to feel safe and respected in all environments, whether at school, work or online.  Recognizing the different forms sexual harassment can take helps in creating awareness and promoting respectful behavior. It is important to stand up against all forms of sexual harassment to foster a culture of respect and safety for everyone.

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