In recent news, many businesses and individuals alike have has sexual misconduct, harassment, or assault allegations made against them. It seems that no industry or business is immune to have predators who will try to take advantage of others through their position or stature, be it real or perceived. While many men and women have spoken out about crimes that have been committed against them, others are still silent for fear of their job, speculation, or just due to their own emotional pain. But for justice to be served, there are steps that can and should be taken to ensure that you’re safe in your workplace. To help you know what to in this type of situation, here are three things to do if you’re a victim of sexual misconduct or assault in the workplace.
Make Your Feelings About The Situation Known Verbally and In Documentation
To best protect yourself, it’s important that you make the instigator aware of how you feel or felt about what happened. Although you may feel that your emotions toward the person or actions were very obvious, it’s best to make sure there’s no room for interpretation about what you think or feel about what happened. To do this, Lahle Wolfe, a contributor to The Balance, shares that you should tell that person to stop what they’re doing and confront them about how what they’re doing is inappropriate. While it might cause some embarrassment on both sides, drawing attention to what happened will hopefully help prevent something like this happening again in the future, to you or anyone else.
Educate Yourself On Company Policies and Laws
After a sexual misconduct or assault has taken place, you should educate yourself about what you company has said about these types of events and what the laws in your state are regarding the situation. Lydia Dishman, a contributor to Fast Company, writes that your company’s written policies will generally include information about your rights and protections against you for making these claims. Because you may fear that your job could be in danger it you come forward, it’s vital that you know what your rights are and what laws are on your side.
File The Necessary Reports
Once you figure out the best way to go forward from what’s happened, you should then file all the necessary reports, both with your organization and with the police if necessary. According to Kerry Hannon, a contributor to Forbes.com, explains that it’s usually best to report what happened in writing so your account of what happened can be on record. Also, you may want to file a report with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission if it doesn’t appear that your employer is taking your claim seriously or taking any action against the perpetrator.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted at work, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you know how to address the situation.