Sexual harassment is, unfortunately, nothing new in the corporate culture. It is not just limited to workplaces, but women face it in their everyday life. They are harassed in public even when there are so many people around. According to research, one in four women have reported that they were harassed on their job. While there have been many steps to protect women against harassment, we still see too many cases. You should know that there is a law to protect you and that you are not alone.

While, most of the time, its men that are the culprit of such crimes, you should know that not all men are the same. These are very few people who would ever do anything like this and they are never respected among men. Real men don’t raise a hand on women and they would never do anything to hurt the self-respect of another person. For this reason, you should first keep an open mind and shouldn’t blame the entirety of the gender for the actions of one person. If you did so, it would be discrimination and these notions would also hurt your case.

You should never be scared of anyone, nor should let anyone get away with it. If someone has done something bad, you should stand up and fight him. Never let such a thing go free or it will happen again and you will be a victim your entire life.

You are not weak and you can always take your revenge; however, it’s only smart to take precautionary measures to protect yourself from such a scenario. Once you are in it, you should fight with full force, and before that, do your best to avoid these cases. This article will help you learn how you can keep yourself safe from animals who don’t consider the respect of other people and don’t understand the difference or right and wrong.

Types of Sexual Harassment

There are many types of harassment in the workplace or outside. You should know that you would report it to company authorities first if something happened on the premises of the office. If it was outside the office, you would contact police and law authorities to get justice.

In case a colleague of yours harasses you outside the office, you would still report it to the HR manager and other authorities and contact the police. But before you file such a case, you should first understand what lies under the category of sexual harassment and then we have discussed how to keep yourself protected against it.

Inappropriate Jokes

If someone in your office keeps making inappropriate or sexual jokes, it would be called sexual harassment. You should make it clear that you don’t like such jokes and that such things should not be shared with you. If the behavior continues, you should take the next step before he takes another step.

Inappropriate Gestures

Any sign or action towards you that would be considered sexually inappropriate is not acceptable in office or anywhere unless done with the consent of the other person and only in a private space.

Making Sexual Comments

If a colleague or employer makes inappropriate comments about your looks, it is sexual harassment. Even if the other person meant it as a praise, you should take it seriously.

Asking Sexual Questions

If someone keeps asking your questions about your body and sex life, and you have not allowed him to do so, it is sexual harassment. However, a conversation between friends can’t be called harassment, especially when it’s not uncommon for you to have this discussion.

Asking for Sexual Favors

If someone in the office asked you to have sex with him or her in return for a favor, you could file the case of sexual harassment. It usually happens when you are expecting an increment or promotion and people try to take advantage.

Learn About Your Rights

The very first thing you need to do to keep yourself safe is to learn about your rights. We are only as weak as we think we are. You need to learn all about the support you have. There are laws and so many other people who would do anything to protect you. You will live a life of slave if you don’t learn about the freedom you have and how the government has created laws to keep you safe. Many women live a life of misery because they don’t know if they have another choice. Learning new things and enhancing your knowledge about your right will give you the power to stand up and fight.

Study Policies Against Sexual Harassment

Before you join any company, you should study all their policies and procedures for dealing with harassment. If they have no SOPs for such a thing, you can tell that this is not a serious matter for them. Ask them if they have any plan if such a thing is to happen to you and how they would protect you. You should know that even if there are no company policies and definitions of harassment, the law protects your basic rights. If someone sexually harasses you, he will have to answer to the law. No company policy and overwrite your legal rights.

Attend Sexual Harassment Training

Look for training programs and sessions that discuss sexual harassment. They will teach all about there is to know about this issue and how you can keep yourself safe. You will also learn what you need to do if something happens to you. They will teach you how someone can trick or threaten you and the right way to deal with it.

Report it Immediately

If someone harasses you, don’t wait until the issue gets cold. You might think about giving that person another chance. There is also a possibility that you were confused about what happened. It also wouldn’t be the first time if that person apologized right away or after you confront him. You should take the matter to the HR manager and explain the whole incident in detail.

If you don’t want the person to get fired or take strict action, ask the HR manager to get him to apologize and promise that he will never repeat it again with anyone again and you will forgive him. If you don’t report the issues right away, you will be asked later why you didn’t say anything right away. This significantly weakens your case because it shows that it was with your consent at first. Now you might have a fight or misunderstanding about something and calling it harassment to get back at him.

Show Your Limits

If you don’t want to wait for something to happen, you should keep your boundaries clear. When someone makes a joke didn’t like or if you feel like a person might be leading towards what you wouldn’t like, stop him right there. However, as you should also be considerate of other’s respect and feelings, you should do it in a subtle manner.

Besides, you also wouldn’t want to blame or lash out on a decent person. When talking in a friendly manner, start a relevant conversation and tell everyone how there are some things you would never appreciate.

Hire an Attorney Right Away

As soon as harassment occurs, you should contact the HR manager right away. The next step would be to find yourself a good attorney. You will need a lawyer that excels in the laws of your state. For example, you will need a California sexual harassment lawyer if you live in Los Angeles or any other city of the state.

The lawyer will tell you everything you need to know if you don’t get your right. Good lawyers won’t charge you anything if you don’t win the case. However, you should try to solve the matter outside the court and file the lawsuit only when there is no other option. That’s what a good lawyer would recommend you.

Get Help of Colleagues, Friends, and Family

You should know that you are not alone and no one can force you, nor will anyone blame you. It is understandable that victim-blaming is not something unheard of. However, you must take your loved ones and colleagues in confidence and share the whole story with them. They will offer their support to you and help you fight the bad people. Many find themselves alone in such a situation and get weak. The support of your colleagues and friends will give you the strength to withstand any attack.

Never Blame Yourself

You might start to blame yourself if things start to go bad. You might feel that all this wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t taken any steps. Know that you were right to take a stand and this would have kept happening if you had not decided to fight. You are the victim and you should not let others get the best of you. You might even start to doubt your story if you misinterpreted something, but you should remember that you were right the first time.

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Author, Freelance writer