Unfortunately, sexual harassment happens more than one may think.
According to a Stop Street Harassment commissioned study, 80 percent of women and 43 percent of men report experiencing sexual harassment at some point in their life. What is sexual harassment and how do you know if you are experiencing it?
What is sexual harassment?
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.” There are two main types of sexual harassment, but the behavior can present itself in a multitude of ways.
Types of sexual harassment
- Quid pro quo: This type of sexual harassment occurs when an individual of authority suggests that they will not fire an employee if they perform a sexual act, or that the employee will gain something from a sexual interaction.
- Hostile work environment: When an employee is subject to sexual advances, sexual jokes or inappropriate sexual behavior.
What behavior constitutes sexual harassment?
There are many ways that sexual harassment can present itself, but these are common ones:
- Unwanted sexual advances or touches
- Pressure for sexual favors
- Sexual jokes
- Sexually suggestive email, texts, calls
- Circulating rumors or photos of a sexual nature
- Unwanted kissing or hugging
It is important to note that there are many ways that one can experience sexual harassment, as each case is unique. If you suspect that you are victim of sexual harassment, it may be wise to create a written record and start a paper trail. If it is possible for you to do so, reporting it may help you get out of the situation.