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It is one of the most under-reported behaviors, along with sexual abuse, physical abuse, and neglect. The victims of the sexual harassment are often aware that their experiences will be downplayed, they will be told it’s “no big deal”, may be given the message that things will never change in our society so what’s the point of getting upset about something you can’t change or actually reporting it and potentially just making your life harder.
Before people move into adulthood, they need to know what sexual harassment is, so those who are victims of this unwanted attention can define what’s being done to them, and perpetrators of these unwanted advances or behaviors can be clear that what they are doing is wrong and does damage to the victim in a way they might not be aware.
It continues to be as prevalent, in part, because people don’t often come forward to report it.
Through counseling those who have been put in these highly upsetting and sometimes very aggressive and frightening situations, I have taken note of some of the main reasons my clients never came forward:
Rachel’s List of 5
Top Reasons People do NOT report Sexual Harassment:
- They are too ashamed to admit they “let this happen”, especially if they were raised to be strong and independent.
- They are worried that if they tell someone, they will be told they are imagining it, or “inviting” it.
- In the past, they witnessed the harassment and discrimination and threats
people got who came forward, and don’t want to go through the same mistreatment and abuse.
- They are unclear if it was harassment. Sometimes harassment becomes so commonplace, sadly, that that behavior does not get recognized for what it really is anymore.
- They tried reporting it before, but their lives were made pretty miserable for doing so, so they assume it’s not safe to try that again.
If you feel this has happened to you and want to know what to do about it, or how to find your nerve and your voice in order to report it, get in touch with me at 818-907-0036, or contact me through my website at RachelBernsteinTherapy.com.