Is the Office Becoming a Personal Nightmare?
In some cases, the word spreads around the office. Other times, however, the actions (sometimes too devastating for some employees) can linger for weeks and even months.
Sexual assaults come in a number of forms, the physical kind certainly being the worst.
That said many employees (oftentimes women, but sometimes men) are subjected to sexual assaults of the verbal kind (typically sexual harassment), something that can lead some to quit their jobs or worse.
Sexual assaults in the workplace should not be tolerated by employers for a variety of reasons, one being that allowing even a single assault to go unpunished opens the door for more.
Unfortunately, too many stories in the news over the years have shown otherwise.
Changing the Workplace Culture
When it comes right down to it, women and men should be able to go to their respective offices on a daily basis without feeling threatened.
In order to achieve such a feeling, it is the employer (he or she) that must lead a workplace culture of change when things are not as they should be in the office.
If that leader is unwilling to lead such changes, then the impacted employee or employees must not allow it to go unchallenged.
So, what are some ways to put an end to such workplace behavior?
- Start by going to management – Yes, sometimes management is in fact the problem. In many other cases, however, management can (and should) put a stop to any verbal sexual harassment or physical sexual assaults on office premises. If an employee has been accused of sexually assaulting another worker (or a client in some cases), he or she should be given an opportunity to present their side of the story (short of there being evidence that is irrefutable). It is important that management not make the victim feel like it was their fault. If you were the victim of a workplace sexual assault or even inappropriate sexual comments, don’t give management an inordinate amount of time to deal with the matter. Serve notice that this is a serious allegation and it needs to be investigated immediately. In the event management drags its feet, seek help outside the company, notably through a sexual assault attorney (see more below);
- Getting others to corroborate your version of things – Sexual assaults that occur in the workplace are oftentimes a matter of he said/she said (again, short of video or eyewitness proof). As a result, it is important for the victim to have as many witnesses as possible (even just one oftentimes will do). When there are no witnesses, victims will at times feel like they can’t afford to proceed with the claim, potentially putting their jobs and/or careers at risk. Simply put, NOT doing anything about it is oftentimes worse, and not just for the victim in the particular situation. Take the necessary time to correctly build your case against the person or persons that assaulted you. Building such a case can seem overwhelming at times, but this is where a sexual assault attorney can tip the scales in your favor;
- Seeking help through a sexual assault attorney – In the event you opt for a Houston sexual assault attorney or one in your area, first do some research. Check to see how long they’ve been in business, what their track record is as far as obtaining successful results, what their services and fees involve, and if they’ve had any issues with groups such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB) or much in the way of negative customer feedback. Once you have an attorney backing you, it is important that he or she is willing to do everything possible in going the distance to prove your case. Yes, you may be put in an uncomfortable situation (especially if the matter goes to court), but remember that not only are you standing up for your rights in the workplace, but countless others that chose not to fight or were denied their basic rights as an employee.
Being the victim of an office sexual assault can be as devastating if not more as if a stranger attacked you.
Just know that you have every right to present your case and stand your ground in the workplace.