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  4.  » Getting back to work after sexual harassment

Getting back to work after sexual harassment

After suffering from sexual harassment, ongoing emotional distress may cause some people to take time off or even leave their jobs altogether. Regardless of the circumstances that drive victims to take time off or away from work, returning to an office environment could create anxiety. 

For many victims, overcoming the trauma of their past requires time empathy and support, especially from their employer. 

The value of discussion

Victims of sexual harassment often experience feelings of shame, embarrassment and guilt. These emotions may result in their decision to withhold sharing their experience with anyone else. While this may provide temporary comfort, people who continually suppress toxic emotions and traumatic experiences can become depressed, unmotivated, withdrawn and suicidal. 

According to WebMD, people can benefit from talking about their experiences. They may confide in family or friends. Another option is a therapist which may allow victims to open up to an objective third party in a controlled environment. Private discussions about their experience and any ongoing concerns can result in helpful education about coping mechanisms. People equipped with suggestions for managing triggers and responding to emotional situations with confidence and poise may optimize their effort to heal and move beyond their experience. 

The necessity of listening

When people bring concerns about mistreatment to the attention of their employer, immediate action should follow. CNN suggests that organizational leaders should listen intently to a victim’s concerns and validate his or her feelings. An open discussion should encourage a victim to provide insight about what should happen to prevent other incidents of harassment from happening. Providing ongoing support to victims can help them feel comfortable returning to their job.