To some, sexual harassment might not seem like a big deal, but the long term effects of sexual harassment can be serious and even debilitating for the victim. She can be put into a position where she is unable to do her job efficiently, or even unable to return to work. In many cases, the intense stress of dealing with constant sexual harassment can lead to severe physical and psychological side effects. Before you shrug off sexual harassment as just part of life, give some thought to how damaging it can be.
The workplace should be a safe atmosphere, providing a place for growth and fulfillment in your chosen career. For someone who faces sexual harassment, it instead becomes a place of dread, fear and intense anxiety. The long term effects of this kind of unrelenting harassment include:
- Declines in work efficiency
- Lowered immunity, resulting in frequent illness
- Inability to function in the workplace due to gossip
- Disruption of family life or established relationships outside the workplace
- Anxiety or panic attacks
Imagine how you would feel if you could never feel safe or relaxed in your work environment. Constant fear of being treated like something less than a person makes life difficult and even unbearable, and that is exactly what sexual harassment is. It is, at its root, a form of sexual assault, and psychological studies have shown that the effects of long-term sexual harassment are similar to those suffered by rape victims.
Of course, not only women can be the victims of sexual harassment. The effects of harassment are just as debilitating for men placed into this type of situation. Any sort of sexual harassment should be dealt with as quickly as possible, and without further damage to the victim. If you become aware of sexual harassment in your workplace or elsewhere, do not hesitate to do what it takes to end it.