Most harassment victims feel powerless and find it difficult to protect themselves. The victims are often told that they must accept the situation and tolerate it. Sexual harassment at the workplace is a complicated issue. In some cases, employees might fear losing their job, which is why they stay quiet. If you are a victim of sexual harassment at the workplace, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself.

Speaking up against the harassment is the first step towards trying to protect yourself. In hostile working environments, people might not realize that their conduct is offensive towards you. Letting the person know that they are offending you with their behavior might be enough to solve your problem. If the offensive conduct does not stop, you are well within your rights to file an official complaint. Most companies have procedures in place to deal with sexual harassment claims. These claims are mostly handled by the Human Resources department. If the company has no official procedure to deal with harassment, you might want to contact your immediate supervisor. In case your supervisor is the harasser, you should make a complaint to their supervisor.

Most organizations try to resolve sexual harassment cases internally to protect their image. But if you feel that you are not getting justice, you may contact external departments as well. The Federal Equal Employment Commission accepts sexual harassment claims from people who feel their employer is not doing enough to protect them. The agency discusses your situation with the employer and tries to resolve it. If that is not possible, it hands you a “Righ to Sue Letter.” You now have the authority to file a civil lawsuit against the harasser as well as your employer.

Harassment cases are complicated and you may require the expertise of an attorney. Discussing your situation with an attorney will ensure that the case is in safe hands and your rights are protected.