Sexual harassment is one of the most prevailing issues that everyone must be constantly aware of. Apart from the cases that are being reported in the news, it is quite disheartening to learn that this type of harassment actually happens around us, sometimes within places where we’re supposed to feel safe such as our own homes and even in offices.
Sexual harassment is a never-ending issue that everyone must keep fighting to prevent such unwanted experiences from happening to other people, and for us to fight it, we need to know what exactly we are trying to be up against.
For something that has such a vast meaning, how exactly do we know if it’s sexual harassment that’s happening?
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is any unwelcoming sexual advances, whether explicitly or implicitly done, displayed through actions and words. It can also be a form of discrimination towards gender or sexual orientation when it comes to making employment decisions in a working environment.
Some common scenarios of sexual harassment are as follows:
- Inappropriate, risque, or lewd jokes and comments, regardless if they are written or verbal
- Displaying sexual gestures
- Inappropriate physical contact through touching, massages, and hugging, especially if unwelcomed by the recipient
The Types of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
The workplace one of the most common places where sexual harassment occurs. It has been said that there are at least two types:
- Hostile work environment – where aggressive behavior is consistently displayed and threatens the employee’s ability to function properly at work
- Quid Pro Quo – Also known as “something for something”, it is when a person of higher position uses his or her power to request sexual favors in exchange for something else (e.g a promotion if they agree, or a demotion and termination of the contract, if they don’t agree)
Reporting a Sexual Harassment Case
We understand that being a victim of sexual harassment is a daunting position to be in, and we express our utmost sympathy should you find yourself in such a compromising situation, and we are one with you when it comes to bringing your case to the attention of the authorities.
Make sure to have documentation ready, such as records of conversations.
However, we do understand how uncomfortable reporting your case may bring some discomfort because of fear of retaliation and punishment. There is a law that will protect you from it; it is your right to report harassment.
Protecting One’s Self Against Sexual Harassment
Sexual harassment takes many forms and awareness of what’s ultimately inappropriate is one of the major key factors in protecting yourself. Apart from it, here are some other ways on how to prevent it from occurring:
- Say no to anything that’s making you feel uncomfortable; if they don’t stop, report it, or let someone you trust know.
- Know and stand your ground when it comes to your rights. Inform yourself about the law and policies. At your workplace, you can discuss it with your supervisor or the Human Resources team.
- Keep proofs of the incidents such as text messages, or chats; if done verbally, put it into writing as soon as possible.
- Trust your instincts. If it made you uncomfortable, chances are there really was something wrong with what happened. Have a healthy sense of self-worth and establish your boundaries.
- Take sexual harassment courses, if available.
Sexual Harassment Training Courses in California
Training courses are very useful tools when it comes to informing ourselves. As sexual harassment takes place in workplaces too, offices have come up with ways on how to raise more awareness on the matter and promote a safer and healthier working environment.
Located in California, Small Business Employee Training is an organization that is equipped in developing training courses that aim to educate and inform. It is their passion to help small businesses thrive, and one way of doing so is by educating and training to establish a healthy working environment for their clients.
One of the upcoming training to look forward to is their Sexual Harassment Training Course where it’s designed to give a clearer view of the situation based on California Regulatory Requirement and teach employees how to report misconduct.
Should you be interested in learning more about this specific course, feel free to reach out to us!