People mostly experience sexual harassment when they get employed newly in a company.
Being new there means they're naïve and don't have much experience in handling the kind of work people do there. When the employees there discover their naivety, they tend to pick on them, and from picking -- if not stopped in time -- it grows into full fledged regular sexual and emotional assault.
A lot of people have gone through this experience. I went through it in my first job. I was one of the smallest there so it didn't take long before they started raining down sexual and emotional assault on me.
On the long run, without quitting my job, I succeeded in stopping each and every one of them. Here are six smart ways you can stop yours and avoid further office sexual harassment from happening.
The first is:
1. Don't Quit Your Job and Run Away.
Quitting in the midst of a sexual harassment ordeal isn't always the best approach to resolving any issue that has to do with sexual harassment. There is always a better way to stop it. And quitting your job won't solve it. Running far away from that area won't solve it. Solving it right where you are is the best option.
It's understandable that you're under a huge amount of emotional trauma, I know it isn't easy to hold self sane during such situation. But you need to, because if you resign or run away from the company, you have simply given up the sexual harassment rights the law gives you.
Instead of giving up and taking off, why not first report the sexual harassment to the appropriate body that handles it, then from there, watch out to see whether anything will be done or not.
But you're definitely free to do what you deem fit if you observe that nothing is done about it, or that you see the body responsible for handling such cases is sluggishly tagging along with your harassment case.
2. Read Company Policy and Report to the Appropriate Person.
If you don't already know it, corporate and properly registered companies do have sexual harassment policy under their main company policy. And that policy will help you understand your company's stand on the subject matter and also on how to file a report of a sexual harassment case.
Reading through such a policy will educate you about the right person to contact and how you should tender your complaints and what you should do and shouldn't do after filing a sexual harassment.
3. Report it the First Time it happens.
As long as it wasn't a mistake and was consciously done by the harasser, then don't be afraid to report it the first time it happened. Don't assume that person won't do it again. If the harasser could do it the first time -- then it might surely repeat again in the future.
The best way to extinguish a fire is to quench it when it's still small. Nip every sexual harassment at the bud by reporting it. This will help create no more room for future occurrences. And if the resulting action is the sack of the harasser, then it'll be a clear message to other harasser not to come near you.
But this can only happen when you summon courage to report the person the appropriate quarters responsible for handling such issues. Don't wait for the statue of limitation for that assault to pass, report it the first time it occurs.
4. Get Credible Evidences to Back up your Claims.
Sexual harassment is a big allegation. And using verbal communication as your only source of evidence isn't going to scale. You must include other evidences for your complaints to be taken seriously by the body handling sexual harassment cases in your company.
Be smart during such times. Keep record of every call, e-mails. Keep descriptive detail of every passive remark, hateful message, jokes that sounded sexually inappropriate, keep detail of every sexual advances, keep everyone of them (if possible, tape/video them) and present it to the appropriate body whenever you file the office harassment report.
This way you will have something concrete -- evidences of the attempted assaults and pictorial evidences of the ones that happened.
If you can prove it, then you can win it.
5. Report to your Superiors.
Sometimes there might not be a valid sexual harassment policy or a company handbook in the firm you work for. What you should do when you are in such a company is to find someone, possibly a superior, who is both higher in rank than you and the assaulter and report the matter to him/her.
I'm not saying this way always work out 100 percent, but when it does work out, the superior usually tender immediate action that will help end the harassment.
6. Don't Fall a Victim Next Time.
The reason we go through failures and mistakes is not because we are dumb. It is because each one we go through leaves us wiser than we were previously. There is a need to learn one or two things from that incident and make sure it doesn't repeat itself next time. Ask yourself questions like:
What can I learn from this sexual assault incident?
Why did it prolong the way it did?
How would I have stopped the harassment sooner than it started -- and if it escalated beyond the ordinary -- what made it escalate to that level?
Answering these questions will help you learn something from every such encounter. And also help you know what to do whenever such harassment come up in any working environment.