Unfortunately, sexual harassment in the workplace takes place despite strict laws. Employees, especially women, are subjected to misdemeaning conduct by their employers and colleagues. Their rights and safety are violated. The harassment seriously damages the victim. The perpetrators often engage in unsolicited acts of vulgarity and request sexual favors from the employees. If you are a victim of such abuse, never stay silent. Make sure to consult a Sexual Harassment attorney virginia to be aware of your rights and seek legal remedy for the violation.
However, you may feel uncomfortable if you witness dehumanizing acts of sexual harassment at your workplace. The witnesses mostly find themselves in a helpless situation. They know the abuse is wrong, but they may feel confused about what to do.
In reality, even if you are not directly involved in the act as a victim or perpetrator, you are still in the position to take action against it.
Confronting the harasser directly
If you are comfortable confronting the harasser, approach them about their actions. While doing so, ensure that you are safe and there is no risk of retaliation from the perpetrator. If you get the chance, speak about what you observed and educate them about how their behavior is wrong. You can use an educational approach to describe the implications of abuse and how it can damage the person being harassed. Convince them to correct their behavior; if they do not, report them.
Have an empathetic conversation with the victim
Be compassionate with the victim and do not force them to open up about their experience. Many people deal differently with trauma, so it is better to respect their boundaries and give them space if they want. Tell them that you are concerned for their safety. Let them know that you watched it happen and that you are willing to report the incident.
Interfere if necessary
If you see a coworker making repetitive advances toward another worker, make sure to interfere with easing the situation. If you notice the victim being in an uncomfortable situation with the perpetrator, you can involve yourself in the interaction and help them subtly get out of there. You can distract the issue by talking about something else or ask the victim for something to rescue them away from there. Remember that this is a quick fix, not a long-term solution. You will have to confront the harasser and report them directly one day.
Reporting to the management
You can give a detailed report to a higher-level employee of the company about the incident. All the companies have policies for the prevention of sexual harassment. By making a report, you are giving official notice to the establishment and informing them regarding the harassment taking place. They will be legally obligated to take the necessary measures for prevention after the report.