The after effects of workplace sexual harassment can be severe and long-lasting.
But the victim isn’t the only one suffering. Sexual harassment can also affect the victim’s colleagues, the workplace and their business. The issue can even impact the entire society. If you were subjected to sexual harassment in your workplace, you must consult with North Carolina sexual harassment lawyers to ensure that you stand up for your rights.
Read on to find out more about the most common impacts of sexual harrasment at workplaces.
- Personal Impacts
As you can imagine, the victim is traumatized by the incident and suffers the most. The emotional effects can include anger, guilt, shame, and anxiety. Sexual harassment can also damage the victim’s self-esteem and trigger anxiety attacks.
A person’s physical health is closely linked to their emotional well-being. Physical reactions to sexual assault include loss of appetite, nausea, anxiety, weight loss, headaches, weight gain, migraines, and the loss of sleep. Victims may also suffer from high blood pressure and may start to drink alcohol or consume other drugs.
These physical and emotional consequences can lead to financial loss. The fear of sexual harassment forces victims to take unpaid time off. In the most serious instances, they may leave their job to take on a new position with lesser pay or a long commute to avoid constant harassment, resulting in ripple effects that damage a person’s career path.
- Consequences for the Organization
Many people are astounded by the negative impact of workplace sexual harassment on other employees and the organization in general. A victim of sexual harassment is bound to perform less effectively due to the resulting physical and mental effects. Another consequence of sexual harassment at the workplace is that it can sabotage the company’s morale. Unfriendly workplaces can lower the confidence of the entire department or team, and as a result, the company may face higher staff turnover. Additionally, companies could have their reputations and profits damaged by legal actions involving sexual harassment.
- Effects on Society
While the actual number of sexual harassment incidents isn’t known, a study by Deloitte shows that the financial impact from sexual misconduct within workplaces across the American working environment reached more than $2.6 billion in 2018. This number does not include the loss of productivity but also the costs of healthcare, psychotherapy and medical treatment, investigations and the resolution of harassment claims, and the loss of health of the victims.
In other words, sexual harassment isn’t just a personal issue, and it’s a problem that affects us all in one way or another.