Your boss or co-worker in Massachusetts likes to put a hand on your shoulder with unsettling frequency. Sometimes he makes suggestive comments about your personal appearance or clothing. He tells crude jokes that make you feel disrespected. It’s gotten to the point that it’s tough to focus on your responsibilities.
You are starting to dread going to the office every day because of his behavior. You may feel alone, isolated, fearful and deliberately targeted by this person. Your morale is sinking by the minute. Carefully hiding what is going on from your friends, family and even your colleagues only increases your uneasiness.
You haven’t spoken up about this to anyone, so the troubling situation continues and gets progressively worse. Telling an appropriate person, such as a human resources representative or a supervisor, about what is happening would be a reasonable course of action, yet many women say nothing about sexual harassment at work.
Possible explanations for not disclosing job-related sexual harassment
There isn’t a single over-arching reason that women stay quiet about enduring sexual harassment. The causes might include concern about negatively impacting her career or reputation, self-blame, feeling embarrassed or worry about being doubted.
Past sexual abuse can factor into a woman’s silence
It has been theorized that if a woman was sexually victimized earlier in her life, she may be wary of coming forward now. Women may attempt to stash away their reaction to the current harassment because it brings up excruciating memories.
Letting someone know what is going on
Deciding whether to do something to halt work-related sexual harassment is a highly personal choice that may be extremely complex. Getting support and input from someone who knows about this subject can be helpful.