Statistics show that more than half of the female workforce would have faced Workplace Sexual Harassment of some form or the other. Here is a list of five things that can be done by the women to take the situation under control.

 At work, some older guys always try to touch you, sniff your hair and keep on making awkward comments about you. While you may wonder what you should or should not do, we tell you how to deal with it or rather stop it.

If you think that you are sexually harassed in your office, never ignore or try to avoid the problem. Experts believe that if victims ignore workplace sexual harassment, then the harassers continue to harass them further only because they do nothing about it. In fact, the problem continues and escalates further. Keeping mum on any problem was never a solution nor can it ever be.

Here are the 5 Do’s which you should strictly follow if someone is harassing you sexually at your workplace.

1. Talk about it

Although talking about it can make you feel uncomfortable you can still empower yourself by speaking about it with your fellow colleagues who might also be experiencing the same thing and going through the same phase.

2. Make it very clear to the harasser that the demeanor is unwelcome

In many of the cases the harasser states that his actions were invited and welcome by the harasser. So, make certain, you tell him/her that it is truly redundant and you do not like it. There are no special words or a magic way to do this but by making the harasser know that their actions are totally unwelcome. You may even put it in writing by shooting the harasser a mail so that you may have a proof that the action was unwelcome if the harassment persists.

3. Consult your employee policies and manuals

Check with any employee policies or manuals that have been posted or distributed by your employer. Most of the established companies have detailed sexual harassment policies that clearly states to whom you should go and complain. Follow the policy thoroughly. If in case, the individual to whom you are supposed to complain is the harasser, avoid that individual and go straight to his or her manager or to the Human Resource department. If in case, your company or employer does not have a sexual harassment policy, report it to someone you think has the right and power to address the issue, such as the director of the company or some other senior manager

4. Don’t quit your job

Give time to your employer to sort the problem and not leave the job in haste. If you are not able to face this emotional turbulence, you can go in for a disability or sick leave while your problem is being addressed. If you think your employer is not doing what he or she should, you should consult a knowledgeable sexual harassment lawyer who has previous experience in dealing with similar cases.

5. Keep doing your job well

You may have a legitimate sexual aggravation claim. However, never use that as a reason to stop performing or doing your job well. Being a victim of harassment or making a complaint about the same doesn’t give you the rights to stop performing or excuse you from the same standards you had to meet up before you complained. You should negotiate with your employer or company as to what you want. Also, you must preserve all your opportunities until the situation is resolved.

Follow the steps and you might come out of the problem without facing much emotional turbulence.

P.S: The recent Tehelka Scam, one of the several sexual assaults taking place on an everyday basis inspired  me to write this post

By Deepti Verma

Also See:
Women’s Movement and The Law
Crime Against Women – Let’s Together Put An End To This Culture of Brutality

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