Sexual harassment at work can affect you mentally and physically

If you are being sexually harassed at your workplace, whether by a colleague, your boss, a client or someone else, it can have a deeply upsetting effect on you. That behavior may have a profound impact on you emotionally and physically. Your mind or body might be impacted by the harassment in ways that you may not anticipate.

Sexual harassment is so incredibly disturbing, particularly when it comes from a person you see regularly and must interact with professionally. One authority who knows this topic well has written that “….your response can be so significant that you may even have trouble functioning from day to day.” 

Coping remedies after you have been sexually harassed

Dealing with this trauma can be a challenge, no matter how resilient you are. You can recover from it, but it often takes a while to feel like yourself again. Here are some issues to bear in mind:

  • Some people find freely expressing their thoughts in a journal or diary very cathartic.
  • Remember that nothing you did started the harassment.
  • Think about whether changing your job would restore your peace of mind.
  • Hiding your feelings does not make them go away. Discuss them candidly with a compassionate person you can confide in.

Many people experience some of these issues: Disinterest in previously-enjoyed activities, depression, high blood pressure, an inability to mentally focus, stomach problems, memory issues, lack of appetite, insomnia, headaches and anxiety.

Taking action after you’ve been sexually harassed

You can report sexual harassment to a supervisor or human resources person. If that does not resolve the situation to your satisfaction, you might want someone to advocate for you via the legal system.

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