Understanding Emotions Associated with Sexual Harassment

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If you are the victim of sexual harassment, you might find yourself experiencing a whole array of different emotions. What is important is that you realize that you are not alone in experiencing these feelings.

Here are some feelings commonly experienced by victims of sexual harassment:

  • Confusion – not knowing how to describe what took place
  • Denial – you might not be able to believe that the harassment actually happened to you
  • Embarrassment – you may be particularly embarrassed if the harassment took place around other people
  • Fear – you may be afraid that the harasser will attempt to retaliate or you might be afraid to get the harasser in trouble
  • Invalidation – you think no one will believe you if you report the harassment
  • Guilt – you may feel as if you somehow brought the harassment upon yourself
  • Minimizing – you try to convince yourself that the harassment wasn’t really a “big deal”
  • Numbing – you attempt to emotionally distance yourself from what happened to you
  • Shame – you might feel ashamed of yourself or feel as if you should have been able to put an end to the harassment

In addition to experiencing these emotional reactions, the sexual harassment may also leave you questioning your sexuality, your masculinity or your femininity. It is important for you to realize that you are not to blame if you are the victim of sexual harassment.

If you are victimized, you should contact an employment attorney to help put the harassment to an end and to assist you with getting the help you need to move past the emotions you may be experiencing.

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