Are You a Harasser? What Should You Do If You Might Fit Into The Description Of Sexual Harassment?
Ask Yourself the Following Questions - and be Honest with Your Answers
- Immediately stop any behaviors that you remotely suspect may be interpreted as harassing.
- Stop telling off-color jokes or stories.
- Stop touching colleagues or subordinates in a manner that might be perceived as sexual harassment. A simple handshake is fine.
- Stop any sexually oriented kidding around or any sexual remarks or propositions, even if everyone "knows" you are kidding.
WAYS TO PREVENT SEXUAL HARASSMENT
- Do you treat people of both sexes equally?
- Do you care if you offend people?
- Do you ever use negative behavior to get attention?
- Do you ever consider the effect of your action on how others feel about you and their job?
- Do you ever "flirt" for recreation?
- Do you ever feel a sense of power when you make others uncomfortable?
- Do you understand the fact that some people have a need for more personal space than others?
- Do you really listen when someone tries to tell you something that you do not want to hear?
- Are you seriously interested in changing your behavior?
- Consider your attitude about sexual harassment. How would you feel if you, a relative or friend was harassed? What would you do?
- Set a positive example by treating everyone with respect. Let others know you expect the same of them.
- Talk with co-workers about sexual harassment.
- Avoid making assumptions that "practical jokes," "friendly gestures," etc., are harmless or inoffensive. Quite often, they’re not viewed that way.
- Don’t go along with the crowd or accept behavior that may be offensive. Make your feelings known. Ask that the offensive behavior be stopped.
- Think before making personal comments or asking personal questions. Could they make the other person feel uncomfortable?
- Be supportive of people who are being sexually harassed. Remind them that sexual harassment is never the victim’s fault. Encourage them to take action. Offer to be a witness.
- Never ignore sexual harassment. It won’t go away on its own. Take action to stop it. Remember that no one has the right to harass you or any other employee.
- Don’t hesitate to seek help. Sexual harassment often causes stress, emotional pain, and many other problems.
Remaining silent or quitting your job may not be the best solution. These actions let the harasser "get away with it" - and continue to harass others.