How To Combat Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

How To Combat Sexual Harassment In The Workplace

It's time to put this to an end.

Sexual Harassment During 2017

In 2017 sexual harassment became one of the most talked about topics. The first spark to the flame was the Harvey Weinstein harassments; dozens of celebrities came forward and spoke about their unfortunate experiences with Mr.Weinstein. This started a domino effect of other victims coming forward against their attackers, and it began to open our eyes to the realities of harassment. Campaigns like #MeToo, started by Tarana Burke, helped to bring awareness to sexual harassment/assault and start a discussion amongst other people who have been affected. We watched the conversation around assault turn from something we were supposed to keep quiet to talking about something that has zero tolerance. Unfortunately, just because the conversation around sexual harassment is shifting doesn’t mean it will end altogether. So here are ways to move forward into the new year and be able to recognize, report, and heal from harassment/assault…

What is Sexual Harassment?

According to the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), by law, sexual harassment is defined as:

“Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of sexual behavior when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, or submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.”

How to Recognize Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment isn’t always easy to recognize; society makes us feel like if we are feeling harassed that our feelings are invalid or we’ve misread the situation. If you or a coworker is in a situation that feels uncomfortable or inappropriate, take it as your 1st red flag. These situations can including (but aren’t limited to) inappropriate comments, touching, requests, or questions involving one’s personal/sexual life. Recognize this situation and take into account that this is a person you should stay wary of. If the situation persists for a second time and you are confident that you are being harassed, speak up tell them you want them to stop and won’t hesitate to take action. Unfortunately, people are willingly ignorant to the words “stop” or “no”, so if this situation has entered the 3rd strike I urge you to file a report against this person immediately.

How to Report Sexual Harassment

Don’t be afraid to speak out to your employer about sexual harassment, the law is on your side. It is illegal to retaliate against a worker who is claiming sexual harassment, and if they do they will be under investigation as well. When filing for sexual harassment, go to your human resources department and have a list of instances of harassment written down. If you have any evidence of harassment be sure to bring it with you as well. Don’t be hesitant to speak up about what has happened or stray away from any details. Human resources are here to help you, especially dealing with an incident as serious as this. If your report isn’t being taken seriously, go to the police and file a report against your employer and co-worker because both of their actions are against the law.

How to Heal From Sexual Harassment

Severe (or even “little”) sexual harassment/assault incidents can take a toll on your mental and emotional state. The first step to recovering is accepting and validating what has happened to you. Do not belittle yourself or doubt what has happened, you must recognize your experience and work to become a stronger you. The victim is never the one to blame; you are not lesser because of what has happened to you. If you find yourself becoming disconnected and depressed, go seek a counselor (or a friend) and voice what has happened to you. Speaking about your experience is often a great way to gain closure. If you have a friend who is a victim of harassment/assault, stand by their side and listen to what they have to say. Assure them of their worth and be a shoulder they can unconditionally lean on. If you notice your friend is becoming withdrawn or depressed, help them find the resources they need to recover.

Sexual Harassment Hotlines and Resources:

Cover Image Credit: via Unsplash

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.


Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.


Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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