Have you ever heard anyone express skepticism about the damage done by workplace sexual harassment? For decades, the idea of a lecherous boss chasing a harried secretary around a desk was played for laughs — as if a little sexual harassment was just part of being an attractive human being in the workforce.
However, there’s nothing funny about sexual harassment. Victims sometimes see their careers ruined and their personal lives thrown into turmoil. There can be other serious consequences of sexual harassment. Many victims ultimately develop mental and physical issues due to the abuse they’ve suffered at work.
The mental effects of sexual harassment
It’s easy to understand that the constant strain of trying to advocate for yourself in a hostile environment would make it hard to focus, enjoy life or even relax. It is not uncommon for harassment victims to suffer from anxiety, depression and problems concentrating.
Once the victim has escaped the situation, those feelings can linger. The victim may even feel worse because post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop. The anger, fear and sense of being violated can be overwhelming.
Some victims cope with their situation by turning to drugs or alcohol. Others may even consider suicide because they feel so humiliated and powerless.
The physical effects of sexual harassment
The intense emotional damage from sexual harassment can easily cause a victim’s physical health to suffer. The increased stress victims feel can lead to rapid weight loss or weight gain, insomnia and headaches.
The amount of mental energy that has to be expended to deal with the situation can physically exhaust the victim and aggravate existing health issues.
The physical and mental toll of sexual harassment is significant and your health has value. You can’t be expected to just shrug or laugh off what you’ve endured when you’ve been harassed or abused. Find out more about your legal options today.