Is Sexual Harassment just a woman thing? Can this happen to a man too?
Yes, men can be sexually harassed, assaulted or raped. This could happen to gay or straight men, and is not related to your sexuality. You can be sexually assaulted by a male or a female. It’s important to understand that this doesn’t mean you are weak. Often men feel like they should be able to stop it because they are male, however the shock and level of violence or threat of violence means that stopping a sexual assault or rape is extremely difficult. Sexual assault and rape is about the abuse of power. It is never your fault and the police will take it seriously. People who harass or abuse others are often very insecure, have suffered similar abuse and find a sense of self-esteem and self-worth when they try control others. Unreported abuse leaves the abuser the opportunity to offend again and it is everyone’s responsibility to put a stop to it, as hard as that may be. Unfortunately abusers don’t always feel guilt or shame for what they have done, some will feel that it is their right, others will easily justify their behaviour, play down the incident without taking full responsibility for the affects of their actions, and others will be acting under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Sexual Harassment Constitutes Any Unwelcome Behaviour Of A Sexual Nature
Hundreds of men have taken to Reddit to share their disturbing stories of sexual harassment – from inappropriate comments in the workplace from female co-workers, to being groped on the dancefloor. A quick view of Reddit immediately brought up “Found out my rapist is hosting events themed around consent”. WHAT CAN YOU DO? Make sure you treat it seriously the bottom line is it’s unacceptable ok …..END OF!
Talk to someone you trust
Its important to air your feelings and allow yourself, it might be a shock incident or something that’s gone on a while but now its changed into something more serious speaking to another person helps you to recognise the impact its had on you and allows some one else to support you through the difficult challenge you are facing.
Keep a Diary
Note down all the behaviour that offends you, the dates, times and location where the behaviour took place and if there were any other people present, keep a record of their names. This will help you if you need to make an official complaint or report the incident to the Police.
What if it continues or is happening at work?
Once you’ve confronted the perpetrator, if the behaviour continues you need to tell your employer. Many employers have a procedure – follow it. Your employer should investigate your complaint and deal with it. You have the right to take someone with you to any meetings about your complaint. They can back you up if necessary. Once again, keep a written record of everything that happens.
When and why should I take my case to a tribunal?
Employment Tribunals are external committees who assess whether employers have acted unlawfully and seek to resolve the problem. You should go to a tribunal if: The harassment continues after you’ve told the perpetrator to stop and you’ve reported it to your employer. The harasser owns the company and there’s no-one else to complain to. If you are not happy with the way the investigation was handled and/or you are not satisfied with the outcome. It’s important to remember you must file your complaint and there may be time limits as to when your complaint must be filed from when the incident took place.
Get Professional Help
Any sort of harassment is just as serious as sexual harassment and could take the form of bullying, racial, prejudice, financial, or other inappropriate behavior. It might be within the work place or an outside situation so you may need to speak to a Doctor, the police, the employer, and so on, try to find someone who is experienced and can document your findings and suggest the next step.
Let Go of Shame And Guilt!
Remember to take the advice you would give someone else, often we don’t do that. Looking after yourself must take priority. Analysing events over and over, wishing you had acted differently or said something different is a negative and unproductive process. I am sure you did the best you could and thought was right so don’t punish yourself further! Be kind to yourself. Perpetrators often have issues of their own and need help, but the bottom line is, whatever’s going on for them their behaviour is unacceptable! Having healthy boundaries and saying NO is essential in moving forward and remember it’s not your fault! Living with guilt and shame is detrimental to your whole being and in this world of equality men deserve the same respect as women.
Finally, counselling or coaching can give you huge support in dealing with the process and moving forward, harbouring resentment and anger is not good for anyone’s health and prevents you from moving forward.