Although we’ve seen a recent interest in and increase of media coverage of sexual harassment and assault, all forms of sexual violence, including workplace sexual harassment, are a widespread societal problem. Some studies show that 40-70% of women and 10-20% of men will experience workplace sexual harassment at some point in their careers.
Lewd, offensive remarks, inappropriate behavior, or unwelcome advances in the workplace can make victims feel ashamed, scared, or unable to complete their jobs to the best of their abilities. Victims may feel powerless because of fear of losing their livelihood. Sadly, our culture does not always believe the survivors’ stories. Victims may feel ashamed or isolated. They may even remain silent for fear of retribution.
If you have been the victim of workplace sexual harassment, you may not know what to do. Maybe you’re feeling scared, intimidated, and uncertain about your next steps. You may be unsure about whether you’re going to make the harassment official and file a complaint or press charges. No matter what you intend to do, sharing your story with a trusted confidant can prove cathartic. Additional information about harassment and your legal rights is also available at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (www.EEOC.gov), as well as the US Department of Labor (www.dol.gov). If you feel you would like to talk to a professional, Psychotherapy Associates of Chicago therapists will provide nonjudgmental support, advice, and understanding. You don’t have to feel alone.