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What Can You Do If You Face Sexual Harassment At Work?

almost 2 years ago

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What Is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment means unwanted, unwelcome, or unsolicited sexual conduct. This conduct includes inappropriate and offensive requests for sexual favours.


Most victims are generally women, although there are a small number of cases where men have been experienced sexual harassment.


Sexual harassment normally occurs at the workplace.


“Sexual Harassment is a violation of a person's right and is not a small matter. Sexual Harassment is any unwanted conduct of a sexual nature having the effect of verbal, non-verbal, visual, psychological or physical harassment: Code of Practice On The Prevention and Eradication of Sexual Harassment In The Workplace- Ministry of Human Resources, 1999


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What are examples of sexual harrassment?

These are some examples of sexual harassment:

  • unwanted touching, stroking or brushing up against a person, hugging, kissing, fondling and sexual assault
  • comments about body, leering, wolf whistling, cat calls, sexual insults or persistent pestering for a date
  • workplace blackmail by suggestions that you’ll only be promoted after giving sexual favours
  • display and circulation of pornographic pictures, drawing sex-based sketches or writing sex-based letters, sexual exposure


What are the effects of experiencing sexual harassment?

Sexual harrassment can cause ill health:

  • emotionally- it can cause the victim to feel depression, helplessness, fear , demotivation and loss of control
  • physically- victims can experience symptoms such as headaches, sleep disturbances, eating disorder, nausea, weight loss or gain, crying spells.



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What can you do?

  • First of all, speak up. Tell the person firmly you want it to STOP that his behaviour is unacceptable.
  • If he persists in harrassing you, talk to someone who can help you, such as your colleagues or superior.
  • Record the details of the incidents. This can help you to build a case against the harraser.
  • If your own manager or supervisor is harassing you, report it to a more senior person.
  • Make a formal complaint in writing


Remember, you’re not alone

Get some emotional support by talking to someone you can trust, be it your friends or family members.


Please, don’t suffer in silence. Remember, sexual harassment is totally unacceptable in any circumstances.


Contact these organisations if you need help:

Women's Aid Organisation (WAO) :+603 7956 3488

Women's Centre for Change (WCC): +604 228 0342

All Women's Action Society (AWAM): +603 7877 4221

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This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. Every situation is unique and dependent on the facts (ie, the circumstances surrounding your individual case) so we recommend that you consult a lawyer before considering any further action. All articles have been scrutinized by a practicing lawyer to ensure accuracy.
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