According to a sociologist from the University of Maine, approximately 70 percent of women and nearly 45 percent of men have experienced sexual harassment at work. Sexual harassment is defined as unwanted and unwelcome sexual advances, demands for sexual favors, or other behaviors or statements that:
- Make reciprocation a condition of the victim’s employment, otherwise known as quid pro quo
- Make reciprocation grounds for employment decisions concerning the victim
- Substantially interfere with the victim’s work by creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Not only can unwanted sexual advances at work make you feel uncomfortable, but they also can have a negative impact on your health.
Statistics show that victims of sexual harassment are often known to experience clinical depression. According to the results of a recent study conducted by the University of Maine, people who have been sexually harassed in their teens and early twenties may experience signs of depression way into their thirties. Often, victims blame themselves for what happened, which can promote feelings of helplessness and depression.
Some studies have also found a link between sexual harassment and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is characterized by re-living the trauma, and avoiding people, places, and things that remind the victim of the harassment.
A 2008 study of 1,200 Boston union workers found a significant correlation between sexual harassment and elevated blood pressure in women. Because the sexual harassment can cause stress, many of the same negative health impacts caused by stress are also associated with sexual harassment. Consequently, findings of this study suggest a link between cardiovascular disease and harassment at work.
Victims of sexual harassment exhibit a higher rate of sleep disturbances than the general population. This may be due to the stress and anxiety that accompany harassment. Victims may lie awake at night worrying about the unwanted sexual advances and how it will impact their future.
A shocking 1997 study has suggested that victims may also suffer more frequent suicidal impulses. Of the women who reported being harassed, 15 percent claimed to have attempted suicide in the six months prior to the study, compared with two percent who did not experience sexual harassment.
Finally, just as depression has been linked to a physical manifestation of symptoms such as aches and pains, so has sexual harassment. This may also be true for sex and gender discrimination and religious discrimination in the workplace.
South Jersey Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Seek Justice for Victims of Sexual Harassment at Work
No one deserves to be sexually harassed at his or her workplace. If you have been sexually harassed at work, it is important that you recognize that it is not your fault, and that you may be suffering serious health consequences as a result of someone else’s unlawful behavior. To discuss your case, call the trusted New Jersey employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online. We advocate for victims throughout New Jersey , Pennsylvania, and New York.