Am I being sexually harassed?

Sexual harassment is bullying to coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange of sexual favors. In 2011 alone, over 11,364 complaints of sexual harassment were made to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Among this eighty four percent of the complaints were filed by women. According to a survey conducted by Cosmopolitan, one in every three are being sexually harassed at the workplace.

The major share of gender being exposed to sexual harassment being women, twenty one percent of the men have also reported complaints. Twenty seven percent of the people have reported harassment from a co-worker or colleague while seventeen percent of them have face harassment from a superior. Louis Harris and Associates conducted a survey of 782 United States workers whose results revealed that one hundred percent of the women who had reported harassment were being harassed by men.

One disheartening fact is that, almost fifty percent of people in an organization are not aware about the person or department to be contacted when they are sexually harassed.

” Ignorance is not innocence. It is a sin. “

It is more wise of us to know the company policies that state about sexual harassment crimes.

Different policies and manuals have listed out the unwelcome behavioral gestures which may fall under the shade of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment includes: actual or attempted rape, unwelcomed sexual gestures, unwanted pressure for sexual favors, sexual assault, unwanted letters, phone calls, mails or messages that in any form may display a sexual nature, inappropriate touching or massaging, kissing sounds, smacking lips and any other sexually suggestive signals.

The lesser known category in sexual harassment is name calling on a gender biases. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission states that, ” Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature and can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex. “ Most of the women are being targeted in this case when compared to men. Women at the workplace must be made aware that it is not okay for your superior or your boss to call you or your co-workers any names which are offensive or hurtful.

Another category which goes unidentified when your co-worker is always talking with you about his sex life. Most of us will not be comfortable to hear a narration of the other person’s sexual life and preferences. In these cases you can make the other person aware that you are not very fond of hearing such stories. If this does not work out or the person continues to do so, you can file a complaint of sexual harassment.

If you find that you are being sexually harassed in your workplace, try and do what is right rather to put up with something which makes you uncomfortable, day after day. Know the person to contact or file a complaint with. Approach your friends for help and emotional support. Doing the right thing will always make the things right for you !

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