Sexual harassment is a horrible act that is experienced for the most part by women. . Be it at a workplace, home or a public place like a mall or garden, being sexually harassed can be a horrifying experience.
Along with the agony of going through such an ordeal is the shame, ignominy and the feeling of helplessness that come after-wards. If you don’t want to fall victim to such a torrid act, here are a few warning signs and tips to escape from such situations.
Office Policies: Some offices will have stringent policies on sexual harassment while some tend to be lethargic about the same. As soon as you join a new office, try to go over the sexual harassment policies to determine how you can go about handling a sexual harasser, should you be confronted by one.
Give Heed to Rumors: As soon as you get some new friends in office, you are bound to hear rumors of sexual harassers on the prowl. Give heed to these warnings and try to stay as far away from these so called harassers whenever possible.
Keep a watch on associates and colleagues: Keep your eyes and ears open when conversing with your colleagues, especially if they happen to be members of the opposite sex. If the person you are speaking to starts to talk about sexual subjects, it’s a cue that you need to move away as soon as possible.
Casual talk about sexual matters can not be harmful. However, intent and lengthy discussions on the same can probably mean that the person is sexually interested in you. Speaking on such topics in public can also enable others to think that you will not shun sexual advances.
Be careful to note how your colleagues adjudge your appearance. While talking to a male co worker, if you feel his gaze shifting to other not so revealing parts of the body, try to ease out of the conversation and move away.
The Dress says it all: In almost all the cases of sexual harassment, some amount of the guilt needs to go the woman concerned for dressing inappropriately. You need to be very careful in choosing the right kinds of clothes to avoid sending out the wrong signals.
If you work in a professional environment, choose to wear somber and sophisticated clothes in contrast to flashy, stylish and revealing ensembles that can garner the wrong kind of attention. Even though you may feel that this can restrict your freedom to wear what you like, it is much better than repenting on the same later.
Be confident: Most of the time, sexual stalkers search for and take advantage of timid individuals who refrain from discussing such incidents with others. If a person finds you to be lacking in confidence, he might try to seduce, bully or even threaten you into accepting sexual favors.
The only way to deal with these issues is to be confident and project yourself as a strong individual to your male counterparts, be it at office or anywhere else. Don’t be too antagonistic though! Try to act business like and maintain a professional distance.
This can send out the message that you cannot and will not tolerate such behavior. Your male colleagues will strive to maintain their distance.?
Don’t get into a fix: If you feel that a male colleague is trying to get too close to you, avoid compromising situations with him at all costs. These may involve staying in groups at all times, refraining from working alone after office hours, or accepting invitations for parties you probably don’t want to attend. These circumstances may be just what the harasser is looking for to draw you into his trap.
Raise an alarm: If a co worker at office is urging you to perform sexual favors, don’t stay quiet and take matters into your own hands. Raise an alarm as soon as possible and report the issue to a higher authority. If you feel ashamed to talk about the same to a stranger, reveal the same to a close friend whom you can turn to for help.