Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Overcoming Sexual Harassment

Published:Monday | May 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

Sexual Harassment is a violation that the victims find difficult to get over, and this is due to the invasion of one's space. In some cases, victims feel like their very freedom and security is taken away.

Unfortunately, for some survivors, even after the violation has occurred they still feel like they are suffering for some period of time. They wonder what did they did wrong and blame themselves irrespective of the fact that they are never the ones to blame because no one has the right to their body but them. They also live with the guilt and the embarrassment, and facing their day-to-day lives seem difficult.

So what can they do? They can take steps to take back their strengths bit by bit and piece by piece. It is never easy, and no one should tell a victim that they should get over the offence or ask if they are not over it already. It is not an overnight process whereby one will wake up feeling safe and confident again. It will take time.

To help said victims along the way, Flair asked counselling psychologist Andre Allen-Casey to share a few tips on how women can overcome the trauma. Depending on the individual and the violation, these steps will help alongside counselling and should not replace it.

Casey shared 12 steps:

1. Establish new boundaries.

2. Make the new boundaries public.

3. Report with immediate effect any breach of the new boundaries.

4. Do not laugh at any off-the-cuff jokes and/or rude insinuations minimising your worth, values and principles.

5. Keep the relationship professional.

6. Do not entertain or support any alone time with the offender(s).

7. Do not give in to any suggestions that you are being paranoid.

8. Do not be afraid or ashamed of being assertive.

9. Don't allow your employment to be used as a ransom.

10. Know and then reiterate your rights.

11. Stand your ground, the objectification of women is still wrong.

12. Be proud of your decision in defending your dignity.