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.
What is Sexual Intimidation?
Sexual intimidation is a form of sexual harassment that occurs when one person repeatedly intimidates another through sexual innuendos and other acts. It is a form of harassment that can come in any form and not just male-to-female abuse. Same sex harassment and female-to-male intimidation exists and is just as emotional devastating as any other form.
The Many Forms of Sexual Intimidation
Sexual intimidation can come in many different forms and be projected through many different mediums. It can be done through email where someone continually sends a co-worker sexually intimidating messages, or it can be done through the company’s electronic messaging system. It can be done through social media, or it can come in the form of handwritten notes.
Intimidation does not just happen through words. A person who continually stands or sits too close to a co-worker while making sexual innuendos is committing intimidation. A person who makes continuous unwanted advances towards a co-worker either in the form of asking for social meetings outside of work, or just engaging in unwanted and sexually-themed conversation is committing this form of harassment.
Sexually-themed gestures or motions made in the direction of a co-worker are considered sexual intimidation, and so is any sexually-charged actions done off the work site that still affect work duties. For example, a person who purposely visits a bank they do not belong to just to make sexual comments at a co-worker cashing a paycheck is considered harassment.
Why it Matters
Sexual harassment, in any form, is abuse and can be emotional or psychological, or both. With sexual intimidation, the victim starts to feel as though they have no power over their own actions in the workplace. There is a growing sense that they need to be more concerned with fending off attacks than doing their jobs, and this affects work performance. With this type of harassment, an employee slowly has their self-confidence and effectiveness eroded away until they run the risk of losing their job.
These types of incidents can have effects that go well beyond the workplace. That feeling of insecurity and self-consciousness may start to become a constant burden for the victim and they wind up living their life in the same fear with which they go through their work day. Over time, they no longer feel in control of their own life and they start to question their future and even their purpose in life.
No one should have to give up their self-respect and dignity just to hold down a job. Sexual harassment is a way for bullies to try and overpower good people, and in the end the good people need to be able to fight back. Understanding how to recognize and combat sexual intimidation is a big step towards creating a harmonious and productive workplace for everyone.
Taking the First Step
Your first step towards combating sexual harassment and getting your self-confidence back should begin with reporting harassment to your immediate supervisor. If your company has a system in place for reporting harassment, then your supervisor will more than likely suggest that you file a complaint. It is important that you get the backing of your supervisor and that you understand the process your company uses to report and handle harassment so you can use that process if you ever need to.
One of the unfortunate realities of the corporate world is that the company’s agenda can often take priority over the needs of the workers. A sexual harassment case can be a long and drawn out ordeal that may bring negative publicity to the company. That is why some reports of harassment are never followed-up on and the perpetrators are never punished.
But throughout the entire process, you need to remember that you have rights outside of your company. Sometimes victims get themselves wrapped up in the idea that the company is the only entity that can take care of these types of issues. There are federal and state laws on your side that are there to protect you from situations just like this. It is important that, when the company will not protect your rights, you turn to someone who can.
Tell Us Your Story
It is very important that you understand that you do have options if your company is ignoring your pleas for help. Your human rights are not limited to the scope of your human resources department, and we invite you to come tell us your story if you feel no one else will listen. Some companies cover up harassment and even find fabricated reasons for firing victims. Those are serious violations of your civil rights and our attorneys are here to make sure your voice is heard.
Once you have been exposed to at toxic work environment, you have to make a decision as to whether or not you want to go back to that environment or move onto another company. You will also want to have resources available that you can use to find people to talk to about your situation and help gain back your self-confidence. We have seen what sexual intimidation can do in the workplace. We have seen how it affects the victims, and that is why we offer all of the help and resources we can to get you back on your feet.
Our sexual harassment lawyers have years of experience in fighting back against sexual harassment and protecting the rights of clients. If you feel helpless and are not sure where to turn, please call us immediately. Our caring and professional team is here to listen to your situation. Let is see if we can become the legal team you need to get the results you deserve.