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The deep impact of sexual harassment on victims

One of the unfortunate, but expected, side effects of the growing Minneapolis awareness of sexual harassment in the workplace that is occurring in America today is that there are some people who believe that the issue "isn't a big deal" or that victims should "just get over it." In most cases, these people really do not understand the impact that sexual harassment has on victims.

As a recent news article noted, research is showing that victims of sexual harassment can exhibit deep psychological and even physical symptoms of how the harassment impacts them. In fact, these problems can last for years after the sexual harassment in question.

The stress of dealing with sustained sexual harassment in the workplace can also impact a worker's personal life. In some cases, especially before the current movement that is helping victims come forward to report abuse, victims oftentimes found that they were afraid to report sexual harassment or feared that it would cause them to lose their jobs. So, they bottled up the stress, and sometimes that carried over into personal relationships, such as marriage.

In the worst of sexual harassment cases, victims can even exhibit signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. The impact can hit a person's self-esteem as well, leading to physical changes, such as weight loss or gain, and nausea and sleep disorders. But, as the recent article noted, victims are finding the current climate of "shining a light" on sexual harassment in the workplace to be part of a healing moment. Victims of sexual harassment should feel confident that when they come forward they may have legal options to hold their employer accountable.

Source: KPBS, "Why Sexual Harassment Victims Can't Just 'Get Over It'," Lesley McClurg, Feb. 12, 2018

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