Have you been victimized by sexual harassment in your workplace? You’re not alone. Employees in California are experiencing sexual harassment every day. Results from a recent study show that Californians are experiencing sexual harassment and assault more than the national average.
Sexual harassment is broad and covers various types of behaviors. For example, while any unwelcome sexual touching may be considered sexual harassment, some behaviors don’t have to be quite so obvious to be considered sexual harassment. However, identifying sexual harassment can make it easier for you to face the issue and try and do something about it.
Verbal sexual harassment
If someone in your workplace says anything sexually suggestive or explicitly sexual, and what they say makes you uncomfortable, then you’re a victim of sexual harassment. However, some sexually-charged comments won’t always mean sexual harassment. For instance, if a co-worker tells a sexual joke to make you laugh but not in an offensive way. However, there is a thin line that can be easily crossed.
Non-verbal sexual conduct
Sometimes, people don’t have to say anything or come into contact to harass you sexually. For example, acts like sending text messages or emails of a sexual nature are forms of sexual harassment. However, some non-verbal sexual conduct may not always mean sexual harassment, depending on the circumstances.
Unwanted touching or physical contact may be considered either sexual assault or sexual harassment. For example, an arm around your shoulder, placing a hand on your thigh, hugging, kissing, or being subjected to a strip search in the presence of people can all constitute sexual harassment.
It can be difficult to work if you are a victim of sexual harassment. Therefore, if you feel you have been sexually harassed or have questions about your situation, seek help promptly to protect yourself and stop the sexual harassment.