Sexual harassment at the workplace has many consequences – and none of them are good.
The consequences of sexual harassment can last for years. Here are some examples of how victims’ lives can change:
Mental health issues
Victims of sexual harassment often experience stress, depression and anxiety. This affects their workplace productivity because they are often still dealing with their trauma. In addition to that, the emotional and psychological effects often leave victims unable to focus fully on the job. They may also experience a low sense of self-esteem and fear in the workplace, which could result in absenteeism or neglect of duties. Regardless of the severity of the harassment, the victim still suffers.
Physical health issues
Stress and a negative mental state often cause an adverse change physically as well. It can manifest in a loss of appetite and sleep, weight fluctuations, as well as headaches and nausea. This could lead to distractions on the job that could result in an increase in workplace accidents, especially if they’re working with heavy machinery or dangerous components.
As a result of sexual harassment, many victims often feel that their only recourse may be to quit their jobs. Even when they have reported the harassment, the toxicity may still persist, leading them to have to choose between keeping their jobs and taking care of themselves mentally or physically.
This unprecedented change may disrupt their career trajectory. Even when they find new employment, the mental and emotional scars are still present and will require time to heal.
Sexual harassment is one of the reasons a working environment may be considered toxic. If this kind of behavior is pervasive, it leads to low morale in the workforce and creates a culture of anxiety. If you’ve been victimized this way, take the first step toward seeking help and compensation. Experienced legal guidance can ease the way.