Unfortunately, many people aren’t aware of the fact that sexual assault can take on many different forms. This lack of knowledge puts people at risk of being taken advantage of and can even make some question the validity of their experiences. Here are the different types of sexual harassment you need to know about to arm you with knowledge.
Verbal sexual harassment consists of remarks that are of a sexual nature. Verbal sexual harassment is not limited to words spoken directly to a victim; it can also be written words. This can be sexually explicit jokes, unwelcomed flirting, inappropriate remarks about someone’s body, or requests for dates and sexual favors. Regardless of whether the remarks are a one-time thing, it should be brought to HRs attention that their comments were unwelcome to ensure that there is a record of the interaction, and it may be enough to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.
Non-verbal sexual harassment isn’t necessarily physical or verbal. It can be sexual facial expressions or gestures that make a person uncomfortable. This can look like someone standing too close to or following a person, or staring at or looking a person’s body up and down. It’s essential to keep in mind that these are just a few examples of non-verbal sexual harassment, and these examples are not limiting, as non-verbal sexual harassment can take on many different forms.
Visual sexual harassment can be a little easier to point out and can be more obvious. Usually, visual sexual harassment consists of a person showing someone sexual images, tests, messages, or other sexually explicit objects that make them uncomfortable. For example, if someone shows you pornography without your consent or sends sexually explicit text messages, that counts as visual sexual harassment.
Physical sexual harassment is usually the easiest and most obvious to point out. This consists of inappropriate touching, blocking of a person’s movement, or inappropriate stroking, rubbing, hugging, or kissing. This can also look like playing music with offensive, degrading, or sexually explicit lyrics. It is also important to note that sexual harassment turns into sexual assault once physical contact occurs with the victim and can fall under molestation or rape, depending on the nature of the assault.
If you have experienced any of these types of sexual harassment, you should contact HR as soon as possible. If Human Resources isn’t on your side, you need a lawyer for sexual harassment at work because no one should be made to feel uncomfortable or unsafe no matter where or what your job is.