Sexual harassment can affect a person’s emotional health

| Feb 2, 2018 | Sexual Harassment |

Most California residents feel a sense of pride and joy when they obtain employment. Even if the job is not necessarily your first choice, landing a position can still allow you to feel as if you have made progress in reaching your dream job. You may want to focus on the positive aspects of the situation, but unfortunately, some issues at your place of employment may have you feeling less than optimistic.

Sexual harassment remains a significant problem in many workplaces. Soon after starting your new job or maybe even after years of employment, you may have experienced sexually-related actions from a superior, co-worker or even a client or mentor. This type of harassment can prove especially difficult to face, and some people my not recognize the mental effects sexual harassment can have.

Feelings of betrayal

Because you looked forward to earning a wage and having the ability to provide for yourself and your loved ones, you may have felt more than let down when you learned how hostile your work environment truly was. If you experienced sexual harassment, you may have also experienced one or more of the following types of betrayal.

Betrayal trauma

After starting your job, you may have developed positive working relationships with various other individuals at your place of employment. One day, a supervisor, manager or other higher-up may have begun sexually harassing you. This continual misconduct may have led you to experience betrayal trauma as a trusted and otherwise respected individual abused your relationship.

Institutional betrayal

Though you may have tried to brush off the mistreatment directed at you, its continuation may have led to your filing a complaint with the human resources department or other appropriate individuals. If those parties did not address your concerns appropriately, you may later face institutional betrayal as the system in place to protect you and your rights failed to do so.

Betrayal blindness

In another attempt to feel as if the harassment you faced was not really a significant problem, you may even deal with betrayal blindness. This issue occurs when you actively try to avoid your feelings of betrayal in hopes of ignoring the bigger problem of the harassment.

Because many people do attempt to repress memories of traumatic events, negative impacts may surfaces months or even years later. Individuals could experience anxiety, depression, PTSD and other mental issues that could make it difficult to participate in situations they once could with ease.

Addressing harassment

If you face sexual harassment while on the job, you may feel uncomfortable at your place of employment, struggle to get out of bed, or have to deal with many other negative repercussions. If your employers did not address the misconduct appropriately, you may want to take further action yourself. Looking into your legal options may help you determine what course of action could help you seek justice.


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