Defend Yourself Against Sexual Harassment At The Workplace

Harassment is a set of undesirable behaviors that are implemented for reasons that have to do with sex and that have the effect or the purpose to violate or harm the dignity of an employee generating a degrading, hostile, intimidating, offensive or humiliating climate.

It is worth pointing out that, of course, harassment can come from a man against a woman, from a woman against a man, from a woman against a woman and from a man against a man. In short, beyond the classic case – a bit stereotyped – of the manager who pushes his luck with his subject, the variety of possible circumstances is very wide.

Assuming that harassment in the workplace, to be considered as such, can take place not only during working hours but also during corporate events, they manifest themselves in the form of acts, gestures and different words: it may be the presentation of pornographic material in the office, of an unwanted physical contact, of equivocal comments on the physical appearance of a person, of insinuations, of jokes that have to do with sexual orientation and the behavior of others.

The moment you find yourself involved, in spite of this, in this type of situation, the first thing to do is manifest and clearly express that the attention you are paying to is not welcome. In the event that such events occur again, different measures may be taken: for example by contacting the competent Equality Councilor or trade unions, if you work in a private entity; or by contacting the Councilor of Trust or the Single Guarantee Committee, if you work in a public institution. Sexual harassment – it is always advisable to keep this in mind – is unilateral, and is able to cause a situation of discomfort in the workplace: it is a harbinger of anger and anxiety, but also of psychological distress and damage that could be reflected in working life.

In any event, those who suffer harassment should not try to minimize the fact, much less hide it, perhaps out of shame or fear of retaliation. At the same time, it is important to avoid feeling responsible for what has happened and to think that one cannot be believed.

Harassment, in whatever form they occur, should not be faced in solitude: for this reason it is always advisable to involve other people, whether they are colleagues or superiors, but also trade unions or equality bodies active in the workplace in you are committed to.

Published by Evelyn Green