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What should I know about sexual harassment?

Missouri workplaces must strive to create an inclusive environment for all employees. Ensuring sexual harassment is properly addressed is just one component of this, as a hostile work environment can cause stress to employees and also result in serious legal consequences. In this case, Rainn.org offers the following information on what both workers and managers should know about sexual harassment.

There is no single form of sexual harassment. These behaviors can involve many different components, including asking for sexual favors, making jokes, unwanted advances, and touching or contact that takes on a sexual nature. Even talking about sexual situations in a place of work can be construed as harassment, which illustrates the importance of proper decorum. A person may also use smartphones or computers to disperse sexual images or video footage.

Sexual harassment can have a number of significant emotional effects. For instance, some people experience anger about what has occurred or may even feel guilty, as though they brought the situation on themselves. Other people feel shame, sadness, or even powerless, which is relevant when a harasser is a person of authority. Harassment can also have physical effects, including headaches and problems sleeping.

If you notice sexual harassment occurring at your workplace, there are steps you can take. Distracting the harasser will allow the victim to leave the situation, which can be helpful. You can also speak to the person doing the harassing. He or she may fail to understand how these actions impact another party. You can also raise the issue with a manager or supervisor, who will take the proper steps to get to the bottom of the issue. 

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