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Post-traumatic stress a reported problem after sexual harassment

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2021 | Sexual Harassment |

For Kentucky victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, there are known problems they will face while it is happening and in the aftermath. That includes a lack of upward mobility, the potential of retaliation for protesting, diminished income, job loss and more. However, people frequently forget about the personal issues that inevitably arise when they are sexually harassed. In addition to lodging a complaint with the proper regulatory agencies and seeking compensation for the above-mentioned consequences, it is also wise to consider how emotions are frayed from this type of treatment. Specifically, people who have been sexually harassed are admitting to having post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Researchers find that many workers have PTSD after sexual harassment

According to researchers from Resume-Now, a relatively large portion of people who were sexually harassed on the job had PTSD after it occurred. Seventeen percent made this admission. In addition, they had other previously understated problems such as being depressed, having issues sleeping, feeling anxiety and experiencing emotional exhaustion. While females are often perceived as the common victims in a sexual harassment case, it happens to men too. Both stated they had PTSD in the aftermath.

The numbers were similar for males and females. Fifty-eight percent of females said they were emotionally exhausted; 36% had anxiety; one-third had trouble sleeping. For men, it was 56% saying they had emotional exhaustion; 36% had subsequent headaches; 28% each had issues sleeping and depression. Troublingly, 55% of those who took part in the study said they were sexually harassed on the job. For women, it was 62% and 48% for men. To highlight its pervasiveness, 7% said it occurred on more than five occasions.

Breaking it down even further, the study showed just who was doing the alleged harassing. More than half said it was a work colleague; 40% said a senior employee was the harasser; almost one-quarter stated it was a customer; and another quarter said it was their boss. More than two-thirds said they reported what happened to them, but one-quarter was ambivalent as to whether the complaints were taken seriously. One-quarter each said it was taken seriously and not taken seriously. Fifty-three percent said they were terminated after they complained. Retaliation was a major challenge as 50% of women said they were confronted with it while two-thirds of men said the same.

Sexual harassment continues to be a workplace problem

Recognizing sexual harassment and getting results for a complaint may require experienced assistance. Despite public campaigns and assertions that workers are being granted greater freedom to report sexual harassment and achieve positive results, this study is worrisome as it indicates not enough progress is being made. Understanding how to recognize sexual harassment is a vital part of filing a case. It is also imperative to accrue evidence, file an official complaint, know about the law and to have professional guidance with getting positive results. Consulting with those experienced in all aspects of employment law can be essential to move forward with a case.