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What can stop a sexual harassment victim from coming forward?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2022 | Sexual Harassment

After a sexual harassment incident, some people may hesitate to talk about it or seek further action.

Learning more about why this happens can help you understand and overcome these common worries.

Being in denial

According to Psychology Today, some people may not believe that they were even assaulted, which can lead to a complete denial that a problem ever happened. They may assume sexual harassment happens to everyone and there is no need to take any legal steps.

This can happen even as they show signs of anxiety or depression, such as restless nights with no sleep or changed eating habits. A sudden loss of motivation and inability to connect with other people are other signs of harassment-related stress some people may ignore.

Worry about the consequences

In some cases, fears about what will happen next can prevent someone from coming forward after a sexual harassment incident. Sometimes, victims will have just gotten a new job or promotion and they worry about getting a demotion because of speaking out.

Other worries may center around what coworkers or family members think about them, which can lead them to stay silent even though they want to seek further action.

Unhappiness about the possibilities

Some people may believe that the perpetrator will not face any consequences, even if they try. This can lead to an intense feeling of hopelessness in the time after or during the harassment.

People may also worry about who to talk to or what steps to take next. Thankfully, there are legal ways to address sexual harassment in the workplace.