Harmeen Khalid

We shouldn’t be ashamed of being a survivor of sexual harassment, the real shame is on the perpetrator. Speaking up for such acts at workplace should be given importance rather than shutting yourself down just because you don’t want to lose your job

The stories of unwanted sexual attention emerging now a days through media doesn’t mean these are ‘new’ issues or ‘one bad guy issues.’ Just because workplace sexual harassment claims are usually resolved behind closed doors, there’s a little opportunity to understand and learn about it. Ladies! Let me tell you a little more about it. Every woman working needs to be vigilant about the warning signs leading towards sexual harassment at workplace. You might be surrounded by monsters who are ready to grasp you and fulfill their desires. You don’t really know what their intentions are and oh! you need a good working relationship so you don’t really complain about it. You are afraid of losing your job and you really can’t afford the predictable crises at that time. But, since how long will you keep quiet? Since how long will you suffer? I think it’s time to speak up or at least be aware of the warning signs in order to protect yourself from such humiliation. I think risking your job is way better than crushing your self-esteem.
Now the question is that how can you detect if someone is sexually attracted to you? Ever felt someone continuously staring at you during your working hours? Or someone coming to you again and again for work purpose just for an ‘unwelcome touching’ or ‘brushing against you’? Oh! they might invite you to go on unwanted dates just to be ‘extra friendly’ to you. Sexual humor is another game for them. They may pass explicit comments, or send you messages or sexual memes. And these intruders are VERY interested in your private life. They might want to explore your life, your routine etc. These are some prominent behaviors that you may detect at once. However, there are other behaviors that are less obvious, perhaps delivered in a more subtle manner. These perpetrators may excuse their behavior as flirting or flattering. Or simply being funny. Ladies! This isn’t a joke. You need to be careful about it.


How to Combat Sexual Harassment at Workplace?

Here are some tips which may help you to deal with such situations:
Focus on the Good and Bad Behaviors- It is extremely important to differentiate between a good behaviors at workplace. You need to know when someone is just being ‘nice’ to you or is asking for undesirable favors. These boundaries between the good and the bad should be considered.
Respect Reporting Preferences– The comfort levels of people reporting sexual harassment vary from individual to individual. Some may feel comfortable walking into their HR rep’s office to report an incident, others may be terrified at the prospect. So multiple ways should be offered for victims and witnesses to come forward.
Be Inclusive when discussing Harassment- Harassment is not only a women’s issue, although it can disproportionately affect women. Men can also be the victims of it. Spread the message that harassment can affect many different groups. Ensure that managers know how to react to any report of harassment, no matter who the victim is. 
Don’t Keep Everything Behind Closed Doors- You don’t need to keep quiet. Be a good listener. Listen to the issues. Public responding to harassment can deter future bad behavior.
Reaching out MARSITH- If you are a victim of sexual harassment at workplace. You can always come up to us, we can help you in dealing out your conflict and securing your mental health. Your mental health is our utmost concern,

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