Sexual harassment is a severe issue in society. It takes place when one person has power over another and uses sexual language or physical gestures to assert control, often in the form of unwanted attention, pressure for sex, or threats about an individual’s present or future employment status. Sexual harassment can be challenging to spot, but take action as soon as possible once it has been spotted. There are four things that you can do if you spot someone being sexually harassed:
Assess the Situation
Sexual harassment can be an extremely uncomfortable and even dangerous situation. It’s essential to know how to assess the problem best to protect yourself and potentially others from further harm. During the assessment, you should have answers to the following questions before taking any additional steps: Are you safe? Is the victim at threat of physical harm? Will your intervention help or worsen the situation? Do you know the perpetrator or the victim? Who else can assist you in intervening safely?
In the instance, your presence can safely prevent further harassment, then intervene. Otherwise, it is wise to seek external help rather than putting both the victim and yourself in danger. If you are to intervene, you should be knowledgeable enough on the steps to take that won’t compromise any safety of the victim of yourself. Besides, intervening in a group is preferable that intervening individually.
Cause a Distraction
Sometimes you may not be able to intervene on your own safely, but you can trigger a distraction as a way to buy time before external help comes. Furthermore, in some instances, causing distraction can offer an opportunity for the victim to escape the scene. Some types of distraction can include initiating an activity such as a game or a debate that attracts other people’s attention. You can also engage the perpetrator in another conversation not related to sexual harassment. Moreover, you can tell the victim you need to speak to them, or the victim has a call.
Furthermore, you can make noise to attract the attention of other bystanders. Note that distraction should aim at redirecting the events so that further harassment can be stopped or prevented from occurring. Be sure to seek legal assistance to take over the matter when the victim is out of danger.
Find External Support
Connect with a sex crimes attorney to get legal representation and justice. The attorney will assist you in getting through with your civil case, get medical attention, connect with police if need be, and take further action in your case. Some of the issues handled by sex crimes attorneys include but are not limited to any harassment such as assault, battery, abuse, child pornography, uncomfortable sexual touches, or indecent exposure, among others.
You may not think of sexual harassment as something you’d need to prepare for. But the reality is, it can happen anytime and anywhere. The best thing you can do if this ever happens to you or someone around you assesses the situation first before taking any action, intervene if you can do it safely, cause a distraction by making noise or drawing attention away from those involved to allow them an opportunity to leave without feeling embarrassed and find external help such as law enforcement authorities and attorneys.