We write often on this blog about our beliefs as a law firm about believing and supporting individuals who have experienced sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can impact much more than your work environment and making the decision to take action against it can be difficult. It may be helpful to consider the ways in which those who experience sexual harassment are affected. If someone you love is being harassed, it could be easier to support them when you understand what they’re going through. Or maybe you’re interested in learning about why movements like the #MeToo Movement are gaining momentum and relevance in Iowa, and in the country as a whole. While sexual harassment is a product of a greater social issue, the effects of sexual harassment in terms of the individual can be profound.

If someone is being sexually harassed, it will often affect their performance and environment in the workplace. Sexual harassment can create an extremely negative work environment. The individual may find themselves feeling angry, embarrassed or scared while working. This can lead to avoiding shifts at work or taking PTO to avoid the harassment. It could have a negative effect on furthering education or advocating for a raise or a promotion, as those being harassed are less likely to feel comfortable and safe advocating for themselves. Many individuals will consider quitting work, which can cause further emotional and financial strain. 

Sexual harassment often affects individuals outside of the office as well. In their personal life, identifying and addressing sexual harassment can cause a lot of stress. This can have negative effects on both physical and mental health.  It can cause mental health problems like anxiety, depression, or even PTSD. It can also exacerbate previously existing issues like substance abuse. This stress can also manifest physically in the body, with symptoms like headaches, sore muscles, or issues with sleeping and fatigue. It’s important to keep in mind that the effects can last even after the sexual harassment has ended and can cause strain and conflict on interpersonal relationships. 

Sexual harassment is a complex issue that can take many forms and it can be easy to feel isolated. It’s important to remember that if you or someone you love is experiencing sexual harassment, you are not alone. There are resources to help. If you’re unsure whether you’re being treated fairly at work, you can read our blog post here. If you’re interested in learning about the current state and impact of sexual harassment in the U.S., you can check out the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. You can also find more resources on RAINN and the National Sexual Assault Hotline

If you have questions about your case or need a sexual harassment lawyer, please call us at (319) 826-2250 for a free initial consultation. 

The above information is meant to be helpful, but is not meant to replace the legal advice of an attorney with whom you have an attorney-client relationship.