4 ways to cope with workplace sexual harassment

On Behalf of | May 8, 2024 | employment law |

Experiencing sexual harassment is a violation of your dignity and safety at work. It can leave you feeling isolated, angry and unsure of what to do next. Understand that you are not alone, and you can explore healthy coping mechanisms to help you heal and regain control.

Coping mechanisms and self-care

The journey toward recovery and self-discovery is not linear. You will hit bumps along the road, but it is crucial to focus on your goal of healing from the trauma.

  • Prioritize safety: If you feel unsafe at work, address the issue. Report the harassment to a supervisor, HR department or a trusted colleague. Consider requesting a transfer or taking a leave of absence until the situation is resolved.
  • Seek support: Talk to someone you trust about your experience. This could be a family member, a friend, a therapist or a support group specifically for sexual harassment survivors. Sharing your story can feel incredibly validating and may help you process your emotions better.
  • Practice self-care: Sexual harassment can take a toll on your mental and psychological health. Engage in activities that nourish your well-being, such as exercising, meditating or hobbies you enjoy.
  • Focus on your strengths: Remember your value and resilience. Focus on your accomplishments and remind yourself that you are worthy of respect in the workplace. What happened to you does not define who you are, and you can reclaim your power by focusing on your strengths.

Protecting your rights

Sexual harassment is illegal. Depending on the severity of the situation, you might have grounds to file a formal complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or pursue legal action. You must understand and exercise your rights to hold the responsible individual accountable for their actions. Remember, healing takes time but a smooth transition toward a healthier and more empowered you is incredibly possible.