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What are the effects of sexual harassment on the victim?

This page was last updated on: 2021-03-11

There are many physical, emotional and financial effects brought on by sexual harassment These can include:

A. Health Effects:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Headaches
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

B. Financial Effects:

  • Decreased work performance as the victim focuses on dealing with harassment
  • Increased absenteeism to avoid harassment, or due to illness from the stress, resulting in sick leave without pay
  • Termination/dismissal due to retaliation from the harasser or due to decreased work performance resulting from harassment
  • Cost to relocate to another city or job
  • Loss of job references/recommendations
  • Loss of career.

C. Social Effects:

  • Violent/abusive retaliation from the harasser, or colleagues/friends of the harasser is a grievance is filed
  • Having one’s personal life offered up for public scrutiny – the victim becomes the “accused,” and her dress, lifestyle, and private life will often come under attack
  • Being humiliated by gossip
  • Defamation of character and reputation
  • Loss of trust in environments similar to where the harassment occurred or in the types of people occupying similar positions as the harasser
  • Extreme stress affecting relationships with significant others, peers, family and friends.
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