It’s common to hear stories about women or men who suffered under a sexually harassing boss for years before they finally spoke up. Certainly, there are countless people who never say anything about their egregious sexual harassment compared to the ones who report the abuse. But why is this? Why do people fail to speak up when it’s clear that they’re on the right side of the law? Here’s what psychologists say:
Many victims of sexual harassment suffered under subtle sexual harassment before it became glaringly apparent. It’s during this “subtle” harassment stage that victims might be able to make the harassment stop if they speak up. The problem is that human nature causes us to deny what’s really happening. It’s difficult to see things for what they are in an office, where we’re always supposed to be polite, friendly and act appropriately. Nevertheless, at a certain point, it’s vital for sexual harassment victims to speak up and assert their legal rights.
Shame and embarrassment are another reason for people to stay quiet when they’re being abused by sexual harassment at work. No one wants to admit that they were the “victim.” American culture often rewards the “tough” person who has “thick skin.” But when is enough enough? Hopefully, in the future, employees will have more courage to step forward as more and more workers realize that it’s the harasser who is the “weak” one, and it’s the “harasser” who should be feeling the embarrassment and shame.
If you’re being sexually harassed, our law firm is available to help you stand up for your legal rights. We can give you recommendations about how to make your harassment stop and, if possible, how to pursue financial compensation for damages caused by the abuse.