Many people, mainly employed, undergo many forms of harassment in their places of work. Harassment is a general term for all the offensive behaviors and words meant to embarrass, to humiliate, or to demean the victim. Most of these behaviors disturb, threaten, upset, and in extreme cases, they might cause physical harm. According to law experts, harassment of any nature should not be tolerated, and the victims should take immediate legal actions on their harassers. Here are three crucial steps that you should take to handle any type of harassment that you may face.
1. Understand what is going on
The first step of dealing with harassment is to understand what you are currently going through. To help you know well, we have highlighted the main types of harassment that many people go through.
Discriminatory harassment happens when one is treated differently from the others. The main types of discriminatory harassment include gender harassment, disability-based harassment, religious harassment, and age-based harassment.
Personal harassment cases are not based in general classes, but rather, on individual levels. Such circumstances include personal humiliation, offensive jokes, critical remarks, intimidating comments, and so on.
As the name implies, physical harassment involves the use of violence. It might lead to physical property damage, direct threats that cause harm, and physical attacks such as kicking.
Power harassment might either be verbal or physical. In most cases, a harasser is a person in power, such as an employer. Examples include excessive demands, demeaning demands, or intrusion to the victims’ personal life.
As the name implies, sexual harassment involves sexual misconduct or sexual misbehaviors. Examples include pornography, sexual comments, inappropriate touch, inappropriate sexual gestures, and so on.
Other types of harassment include cyberbullying, emotional harassment, and retaliation. When you understand what you are going through, you will be in a better position to find the best way forward.
2. Take action
Come up with an ideal strategy to put an end to the suffering you are going through. According to harassment lawyers, a victim of harassment can either decide to handle the case informally or formally. The informal approach is usually the starting point, where you directly talk to the harasser about the issue. In most cases, the harasser might tell you the reason for their actions, and surprisingly, you might find that you were the problem. For effective results, go through your employer handbook to see if there is an outlined procedure that you should use to report the problem. Also, make your complaint quite precise, direct, and polite. Provide examples to remind the harasser of the various cases that their deeds made you uncomfortable.
If the informal approach does not work, initiate a formal plan immediately. Here are essential tips that you should use for your legal harassment reporting:
- Report the case to your employer or any authoritative person. You can either report the incident verbally or in writing, although writing is more recommendable.
- Ask for support from family and friends- all types of harassment are emotional, and you should, therefore, get a reliable support system from the people you trust most.
- Keep your records- write down all the types of harassment that you have gone through. Be sure to include the dates, the venue, and the exact place where the harassments took place. Keep your records in a safe place to prevent third parties from tampering with the information.
- Get witnesses- find the people who have witnessed the harassment to support your case.
- Find a reputable attorney- many harassment lawyers are dedicated to helping all victims of harassment across the globe. Carry out your research to find the most trustworthy lawyer who can handle your case. Tell them your story, and provide them with the entire proof and evidence that you collected. A good lawyer will examine your case and help you initiate a legal process.
3. Make a follow-up
The last step for handling harassment is to carry out a follow-up. If you win the case, conduct yourself well, and observe all ethical measures to protect yourself from any other harassment. Also, follow up on your harassers to ensure that the harassment has stopped permanently. If the same habit continues, do not hesitate to reach out to your supervisors or lawyers to help you out.
Harassment is an illegal habit, and you should not do it or tolerate another person harassing you. If you are a victim of this unfortunate habit, follow the above guide to solve the issue both informally and formally. Also, talk to other people to relieve the burden, and to prevent the problem from affecting you emotionally.