Navigating Professional Sexual Coercion
The Callisto Survivor’s Guide was written by fellow survivors to remind you that you are surrounded by a community of caring individuals, and that there are many resources available to help you on your journey. “Navigating Professional Sexual Coercion,” is an excerpt from the guide.
If you have experienced sexual coercion in a professional setting, you may feel overwhelmed. Many people do not share or report these incidents because they have no idea where to begin. Please know that your experience is valid and that there are resources to help you move forward in navigating professional sexual coercion.
75% of employee sexual harassment claims include retaliation claims. Men are 27% less likely to report than women. (Source: EEOC)
Before You Go to Human Resources, Document Everything
- Read your company’s employee handbook and familiarize yourself with your company’s policies on sexual harassment/ coercion, how to report, and what is to be expected after you report.
- Save a written record of every interaction, with dates, times, and all important details.
- Include notes about conversations you have had with others about the incidents.
- Print emails.
- Take screenshots of messages or images and backup your phone.
- Save copies of emails or texts that you have sent to others about the incidents.
- Use a personal email address and computer, rather than a work computer. Keep all your notes in a place that is secure. This will enable you to be in control of the timing and manner in which you share this information.
Identify Your Wishes to Make the Behavior Stop
- It may feel very hard or scary to confront someone, especially if they are in a position of power. If you are able, let the person know that their behavior makes you uncomfortable.
- Be firm and specific. Never apologize.
- Document this interaction.
71% of workplace harassment incidents go unreported. (Source: BetterBrave)
Consider a Free Consultation from an Employment Lawyer
- You can seek consultation no matter where the behavior falls on the spectrum of sexual misconduct, even if you do not think it is severe.
- All conversations are protected by attorney-client privilege.
- The lawyer will listen to your story and inform you of your rights and the best way to proceed with your employer.
Retaliation is Illegal
- There are laws that protect you from retaliation for reporting.
- If you are abused, threatened, reprimanded, punished, or held back in any way in any way for reporting your incident, you should immediately document the retaliation and contact an employment attorney.