Recently, some top names in Hollywood have been in the news, accused of sexual harassment. The fall of a high-profile producer launched the #metoo movement, with women all over the world coming forward with their own stories of sexual harassment and assault. While the fight against this kind of behavior seems to be gaining strength, the reality is that sexual harassment in the workplace is nothing new. It has been occurring for many years, even in Kansas City, leaving victims suffering the emotional and physical effects.
For victims, sexual harassment can result in mental distress, such as depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress. For people already suffering from such conditions prior to the harassment, it can aggravate these symptoms or make them worse. Furthermore, when victims experience sexual harassment in the early years of their careers, the effects are more likely to be long-term. In cases where the harassment involved violence or assault, the likelihood of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) increases.
Beyond the emotional and mental conditions that are brought on by sexual harassment, many victims also display physical symptoms. Many people downplay the effects of this kind of predatory behavior and dismiss the suffering of victims as overreacting. These reactions can only make matters worse by causing victims to also suffer from denial. High levels of emotional trauma can cause the body to start manifesting physical symptoms. For some victims, the physical effects can appear as muscle aches, headaches, or possibly even high blood pressure that can lead to heart issues.
When individuals become victims of workplace sexual harassment, they can experience various other symptoms. For example, many will feel anxiety during the commute to work or have panic attacks. For some, hair loss or hives might occur. Others can experience weight gain or loss. Feelings of guilt may lead victims to have low self-esteem or consider their professional worth to be minimal.
For victims of workplace sexual harassment, treatment can help them come to terms with what happened and provide strategies for coping with the aftermath. In addition, taking legal action can help stop future occurrences and possibly bring both justice and closure to victims.