Everyone deserves a safe workplace. Yet, the sad reality is that many workplaces remain dangerous and hostile to workers. The pervasiveness of sexual harassment is one contributing factor. This behavior can be embarrassing and threatening, and reporting it can lead to adverse employment actions that may leave your finances and your career in jeopardy. While these are certainly issues that you’ll want to address via legal action, this week we want to look at some of the broader implications of being subjected to sexual harassment.
The mental health toll of sexual harassment
Exposure to sexual harassment can have a tremendous impact on your mental health. Most commonly, victims of sexual harassment develop anxiety and depression, while others even develop post-traumatic stress disorder. While support groups and the implementation of certain coping strategies help many victims recover and move on, for others, the effects require much more attention.
This is troublesome in many regards, but it can be especially difficult for those who see their mental health condition manifest in physical symptoms. Some victims of sexual harassment develop muscle aches, high blood pressure, headaches, and even autoimmunity issues. Therefore, the physical, emotional, and mental toll of sexual harassment can be wide-ranging and even debilitating for some.
Because the harm stemming from sexual harassment can be so severe and long-lasting, it’s even more imperative than ever to fight to find accountability for those responsible for harassing behavior. We know that standing up against a harasser and your employer can be frightening, but you can fight them with confidence if you know the law and how to use it to your advantage.
Your time for being silent has come to an end. If you need support, then seek it out so that you can stand up and let your voice be heard.