Legal Guide

Sexual Harassment and when you should talk to a lawyer

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual Harassment is a serious offense that is prohibited by law. Still, it is one of the most prevalent crimes that is recorded everyday. Even though laws and punishments are there at both national as well as international level, it is still the most common out of all crimes. Efforts to eradicate sexual harassment are made and updated every day however the crime in itself has not been successfully lowered or eradicated. Since sexual harassment is a serious offense, the penalties that are attached to it can be pretty serious as well, however it is not easy too file and prove your claim.

If you have gone through any kind of sexual harassment you should definetely take action against it in order to ensure that criminal like these are not let loose on the streets. Considering you may not be their only victim. Taking action against them also ensures that they don’t get away with their wrong doings and don’t create more victims. While this effort may not necessarily eliminate it completely, you should at least ensure that you get your own rights and compensation for damages that this may have caused you.

In case you have gone through sexual harassment and are willing to take legal action then the first step you need to take is to approach a credible attorney. An attorney can not only help you in identifying the nature of your abuse but can also guide you through the process and steps that you may need to take. They can help you raise your voice and get justice even if you cannot do it yourself. Sexual Harassment lawyer may know the best course of action for your case and can make sure that you have someone by your side to rely upon during this difficult time.

Let us discuss some of the most important factors regarding sexual harassment from identifying the crime to appraoching a lawyer and a lawsuit.

Who is a sexual harasser?

Sexual harassers or sexual harassment are not limited to genders. It can happen to anyone regardless of gender, any one can be a victim of sexual harassment and anyone can be harasser. Sexual harassment is criminal act even if it doesn’t involve any physical or economical damage. It can be done by either a stranger or even by someone you know. The most common out of all types is workplace harassment.

How can you identify sexual harassment?

Many people fail to identify sexual harassment in its initial stages before it becomes something worst. Being able to identify that you are being sexually harassed is crucial to being able to deal with it. Sexual harassment can take up on many forms and therefore people might usually ignore it until something serious happens which could have been avoided if the harasser was dealth with in the first place. Many times this is also due to the fact that admitting you are being sexually harassed can be quite stressful so the victims may choose to ignore it. This denial can make them either ignorant or immune towards what is happening to them but they may end up with a lot of emotional and mental damage due to it.

To define sexual harassment, any actions that involve non consensual or undesired sexual approaches or usage of unwanted sexual vocabulary or comments may come under the acts of sexual harrassment. In cases where this occurs at the workplace, victims can also file claims for disruption of their work and adverse effects of not accepting the sexual advances over this employment. They can also claim any hostility that they may be met with if they do not accept these acts.

When should you talk to a lawyer?

Going through the horrible experience of sexual harassment is something that no one should be required to put up with. It is always better to contact a lawyer or reach out for help if you are experiencing it or if someone you know is experiencing it. Many times victims may be reluctant to reach out for help either because they fear their abuser or they have fears related to the case of their employment. They should know that in either case a lawyer can help you protect your rights. There are a few things however, that a lawyer may consult with you before proceeding with a sexual harassment case, among those things might be the following things that they would probably discuss with you.

  • Whether the actions come under the legal definitions of sexual harassment or not
  • How should the harasser be responded and what actions do you intend to take against them
  • What legal steps could you take to ensure your protection from the harasser in the future
  • In cases of workplace harassment, how can I prevent the employer from displaying misconduct in retaliation to my report
  • What do I want to get in compensation for the physical, mental or emotional damages

An experienced attorney can give you answers to all your questions and help you work out the direction in which you want your case to proceed. The sexual harassment attorney may also want your genuine cooperation to ensure that your case is strong enough to be presented in court. They may try to figure out many things that may seem uncomfortable to begin with but you need to be clear enough with them so that they can assess the chances of your case in court. These things may include:

  1. They may try to confirm whether the acts can be called as sexual harassment or not. They may also try to confirm your responses to ensure that you didn’t participate in sexual gossips yourself that lead to the offensive act. This involves confirming that the offensive acts were committed without your free will or consent and that you were not actively engaged in it before backing away. While this may seem completely insensitive, it is necessary to ensure that the defendant may not come up with excuses in court. They would generally want to know how you reacted to the harassment. Your lawyer should know every detail of the case in order to come up with the proper case against it.
  2. They may want to confirm if you have received any sorts of damages. Especially in case of workplace harassment, the companies often try to suppress the victims of sexual harassment in order to save the reputation of their companies. If the victim is unwilling to submit, many times the companies may resort to hostility and can cause the victim to have financial or even physical damages. Your attorney may try to confirm whether you suffered from any hostile damages like pay loss or expulsion for refusing submission.
  3. The attorney may want to confirm if you have reported the act to any senior authority or even your peer or coworker. They may look for any witnesses that may be willing to take a stand for you. Moreover they may ask for any evidence of harassment, these may include any text messages or emails or even photos or videos that can prove your claim.

How can a lawyer help you?

Here are a few things that a sexual harassment attorney can help you with

  1. Sexual Harassment lawyers can help you understand your rights as the victim. They know better whether you should file a case or not. Moreover they can give you legal guidance over how you can proceed with your case. In case of lack of evidence they might ensure that you first have sufficient evidence before you file the case. They can give you proper guidance over whether the case is worth fighting for or not.
  2. They can provide protection to the victims and can manage your case for you by maintaining evidence and case files. Since it is not easy to file a sexual abuse case, they might want you to collect evidence before you file a case. Moreover they can maintain the necessary documentation of the case including when the harassment occurs and how you reciprocated to it.
  3. They can also help you in approaching any previous victims of the harasser. They may find potential reports that have been filed prior to yours in order to strengthen the case. They can also guide you over how to reciprocate to the harasser in a way that can strengthen your case.
  4. A person dealing with sexual harassment may often be confused or traumatized to deal with their own case. They may not be sure what to do. The attorney can help manage the case and document it. They can also take steps to ensure that your employment is not affected negatively by this and that you are thoroughly compensated for any physical, financial or emotional damages.

Conclusion

In case you feel that someone around you in whether someone you know or a complete stranger has approached in a way that has hurt you sexually and you are unable to comprehend whether it counts as sexual harassment or not, you should definietly consdier consulting a sexual harassment lawyer. An attorney can be a reliable source of information for dealing with your case and can help you identify the course of actions that you can take in such a case. If you have been going through something like this you can contact California Sexual Harassment Lawyer today for legal advice. 


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