It is important to know how to report sexual harassment as it can occur in a business environment. Anyone and everyone can be subjected to it. However, when it is coming from your superior, it can be traumatic. Hence, there are professional ways to report it without putting your job in jeopardy.
Statistically, women experience more sexual harassment. Often, mainly from their male superiors. However, men also experience this from either male or female bosses. Therefore, whether male or female, it is vital to know how to deal with it. More so, when it is coming from someone senior to you at your workplace.
Choose the Avenue to Report Sexual Harassment
An email is appropriate for reporting sexual harassment from your superior at the workplace. This is a way of documenting what happened for future references. Furthermore, your emails can also be used as legal documents. This is important if you happen to need legal redress.
Using an email to report sexual harassment from your superior also gives you the advantage of organizing your thoughts before putting the matter into writing. Similarly, it gives you the opportunity to lay your evidence and present them to be scrutinized by the person(s) you have addressed your email to.
Choose the Person to Report Sexual Harassment to
Getting the right person to listen to you is a vital matter to consider. Therefore, your email to report sexual harassment by a superior should be addressed to the boss of that superior. Particularly, someone who can do resolve the issue.
Choosing to report sexual harassment to a female manager tends to be better. Especially if your workplace is dominated by men. However, one should observe caution even in this case.
Analyze the Situation
Your first reaction to this act may range from shock to utter disgust. In some cases, it may make you cower. of course, this depends on your personality. When sexual harassment occurs at the workplace, analyze the situation. Of course, this comes after the initial emotions.
Get Your Evidence
Sorting out vital evidence comes after analyzing the situation. Next, determine the person to report sexual harassment by a superior to. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to prove sexual harassment. Sometimes, it is a case of your word against the other person’s. When the harasser is your superior, you will need concrete evidence. This is because he will definitely fight back.
Getting evidence in a case of sexual harassment in the workplace can be challenging. Most sexual harassment occur when there is no third party. Therefore, you may not have any eyewitness. However, if your company has CCTV cameras, you may quote the day, time and location. These are vital details when reporting sexual harassment from a senior person.
You may consider recording a possible repeat encounter(s). This could be an audio or video recording. However, ensure that the culprit will be easily identified as harassing you.
If you have just encountered an inappropriate gesture from your superior. You do not want to just go on spreading allegations without any evidence. Since you need to report sexual harassment by your senior; you certainly need proof.
How to Report
As noted earlier, you may report sexual harassment by a superior via email. The structure and content of the email should be formal. It should be accompanied by strong evidence. However, due to the high sensitivity of the matter, it is difficult to give a precise guide. The general rule for reporting sexual harassment is to follow the protocol in your organization.
If the harassment continues despite having followed due processes, consider quitting your job. However, you may take the matter to court to seek legal redress.