How to deal with sexual harassment

Even though sexual harassment incidents may largely go unreported, they are indicative of serious concern leading to more damaging situations in times to come. Awareness about protection rights can serve as a vital tool, besides implementing common sense in dealing with such situations.

Raise your voice against the offender

Being silent can be more damaging than any other thing. Speak up when you feel you are being harassed (or you sense something wrong). Your silence can put the offender in a better position to either escape unpunished or return with increased discomfort. Do not get emotional and rely on the weaker side as defense; think wisely. When you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, let the offender know that you are not going to accept the behavior.

Maintain eye contact and speak loudly (and firmly) that you are offended. There should not be a guilty feel in opposing, even if the offender is at a responsible position in your organization or your life. Convey your message boldly and confidently.

Confront in public and emphasize your side

When you confront the offender in public, you create an embarrassing environment for him/her as well. There is great possibility that he/she will refrain and surrender. Furthermore, there are witnesses around who can testify in case you want a formal complaint registered later. You also gather moral support which can alleviate your confidence to handle the situation more effectively.

When you highlight the matter publicly, others facing a similar situation will emerge for support. This should alleviate your position and aggravate the offender’s. Be prepared to face allegations and false charges without losing patience.

Get an associate into confidence

Do not deal with the situation yourself. Find a close and worthy associate right from the beginning. It can make the situation easier to handle. Gain confidence of a trusted co worker, friend or family member and furnish all the relevant information. Should you need to register a formal complaint, this associate can help strengthen your case.

Discussing the matter with a reliable person can broaden your framework in handling the situation. Welcome any suggestion in solving the matter.

Know your rights and implement them

Be aware of the illegal aspect of sexual harassment. Several universities outline policies to combat sexual harassment among students. The Supreme Court of the United States has established strong incentives for colleges and universities in this area. A company has legal obligation to set up a committee for scrutinizing a complaint of sexual harassment. Even if there are embarrassing questions and comments, do not evade probing. If there are other people who have suffered similarly, persuade them to speak up to build a strong platform against the offender. Keep a record of any letters, e mail, or notes received as these can serve as supporting evidence.

Get aid from reliable source(s)

Ask for support and assistance from authentic portals. An organization may provide it’s representative to assist. Even otherwise, senior officials holding responsible posts can be contacted for reporting an untoward incident. You may also opt for the unofficial channels, in case you feel the need. This can solve the matter internally, without making the incident spread like wildfire. In case the matter remains unattended, approach the higher authorities.

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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