In the workplace, it is important that everyone be able to identify the different forms of sexual harassment. For one thing, being able to identify sexual harassment makes it easier for workers to avoid it and report it when they see it happening. Sexual intimidation is not only a form of sexual harassment, it can also be considered a form of emotional and psychological abuse. This form of abuse can not only destroy a person’s career, but it can also destroy their life if it is not stopped.
In a healthy work environment, everyone respects each other and any romantic relationships that may develop are consensual. But there are situations where some people try to take advantage of co-workers by finding emotional weaknesses and using sexual coercion to get sexual favors. In many ways, sexual coercion is very heinous kind of sexual harassment because it preys on the victim’s emotions and works to complete erode the victim’s self-respect.
A career is something that people likely develop a sense of pride about and an association with. Many people will introduce themselves to new acquaintances with their job title. That sense of pride and accomplishment can be destroyed if you work in an environment of sexual bribery. This is a form of sexual harassment that can infect an entire person’s career, make them second guess their own abilities and effectiveness, and even make them wonder if they are even in the right profession.
Aggressive sexual behavior without physical contact is considered sexual harassment under the law and it is illegal. In our society, there is still a stigma attached to the idea of reporting something like sexual advances because people have been conditioned to think that sexual harassment should involve more abstract behavior. But the truth is that harassment has devastating emotional and psychological effects that can sometimes last for the rest of the victim’s life.
The workplace is not the kind of environment where people want to feel threatened or unsafe. Yet, when someone makes an unwanted request for sex, the tension and anxiety in a workplace can immediately rise. The advances can start out subtle, but they might persist and become more forceful. The victim suddenly does not feel safe to walk in certain parts of their work area, and they even start to find it difficult to feel safe going to the restroom.