WHAT TO DO AFTER A SEXUAL ASSAULT IN THE WORKPLACE?
Sexual assault is any form of sexual activity, including rape, verbal or visual that happens without your consent. (Learn more on What to Do After A Sexual Assault in the Workplace)
Sexual assault in the workplace is a common act, having more impact on women than men.
Under the law, sexual assault is a crime, hence, if you are being assaulted at your workplace, don’t stay quiet.
Here are things that can help out of such unfair treatment.
1. DOCUMENT IT
It is important to make a detailed note of what happened. Your note should contain dates, names, times, and witnesses if any.
This will serve as proof and also a quick reminder when presenting a complaint to the relevant authority.
Also, making a note will suffice if you find it rather distressing to share your experience verbally.
While documenting events, for confidentiality, it will be wise to keep your book away from your office.
2. TAKE A STAND AGAINST IT.
When you’re sexually assaulted, you can politely confront anyone putting you through that act. Make your decision known, and give the warning to stay clear.
You can use statements like; I don’t want to date you, your chats are unprofessional and offensive, please keep a distance from my space.
This is necessary, as it serves as a call to order before any necessary action is taken against that person.
3. FILE A COMPLAINT
If sexual assault persists, go ahead and file an incident report to your employer or human resource manager at work.
Your organization can take action using the stipulated penalty for sexual assault as stated in the company’s policy.
Filing a report will help prevent you and other employees from future assault.
No organization will tolerate such antisocial acts, hence, your complaint will be looked into.
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4. CONSULT AN ATTORNEY
Having submitted a complaint to your employer and nothing is done, get an attorney.
You can seek advice from your lawyer regarding taking the matter to court. This tip comes in handy when you notice your employer is not dealing with an issue because the person involved is influential or powerful.
An experienced sexual assault attorney will help you through the right action.
5. GET SET TO QUIT.
Fighting sexual assault can be draining therefore, you need to be prepared to get another job if nothing is done about your complaint.
Get set for a job search, if it is financially realistic for you, you may quit before scouting for a job. If not, you can endure a little searching for better opportunities.
You cannot be productive at work with the emotional impact of sexual assault lurking around you.
6. REACH OUT FOR SUPPORT
Victims of sexual assault face different emotional effects ranging from anxiety, PTSD, depression, identity crisis, low self-esteem, and dissociation, among others.
To lessen the impact of sexual assault, stay around friends and family that can support you emotionally until you get better.
To deal with anxiety and depression, you can consult a therapist, counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist to help with the trauma.
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