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What can I do if I'm being sexually harassed?

There's a definite benefit to the sexual harassment allegations coming out in the news against noteworthy figures. What these instances say is this: No one at any job is so important that they can get away with sexual harassment. Hearing about the instances is also waking a lot of victims up to realize that they're being victimized in the exact same way.

If you're being hurt by on-the-job sexual harassment, you can speak up and put the abuse to a stop. Here's what you need to do:

  • Talk about it with your superiors or with the human resources department. Employees should report instances of sexual harassment to the appropriate person at work. They should first tell their abuser to stop. If the abuse won't stop, they should talk to an employee who is higher up than their abuser, or speak with the person designated to take these kinds of complaints. This is often enough to resolve the problem and stop the harassment in its tracks.
  • If the abuse continues, then you should follow the sexual harassment protocol outlined in the policies of your company -- if your company has one.
  • No matter how you respond to the sexual harassment, save all text messages, emails and other data that support your sexual harassment claims. Also, keep a record of the abuse by taking personal notes of the dates, times, circumstances and witnesses of each event.
  • As a final course of action, consider filing a sexual harassment complaint through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). You may need help from a qualified employment law attorney with this process.

There's no reason anyone should ever have to endure even a second of sexual harassment, but -- unfortunately -- this behavior continues to be common and "the norm." It's hoped that recent events in the news will be enough to reduce the chances of you being victimized by harassment, but if you do become a victim, know that you can seek financial restitution in court.

Source: FindLaw, "Sexual harassment actions you can take," accessed Dec. 01, 2017

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