Despite years of awareness and sensitization campaigns, sexual harassment remains a serious problem in the workplace. While thousands of incidents are reported each year, the unfortunate reality is that many more go unreported and, thus, unaddressed either because the victims are afraid to act or fear they do not have sufficient evidence to sustain a claim.
If you are a victim of sexual harassment at work, you deserve justice. However, for this to happen, you must hold the offender accountable. Simply saying that someone sexually abused you may not be enough. And this is where documenting sexual harassment incidents come in:
When do you document sexual harassment at work?
It is important that you put your evidence together while your memory is still fresh. You may need a comprehensive and verifiable account of the incident so you can strengthen your case in court.
So regardless of how benign the incident is, be sure to record it. Keep in mind that most sexual harassment claims begin with harmless jokes before getting out of control.
What should you document in your sexual harassment report?
While documenting your sexual harassment claim, it may be important that you address the key questions: who, what, when and where. For obvious reasons, you want to be as specific as you possibly can.
For instance, if they said something about your body, write down exactly what they said. If the harassment involved physical contact, be sure to write down exactly how they touched you, your reaction to their unwelcome advance and how they responded.
Additionally, you may need to be specific about the location where the incident happened as well as the date and time. And if they sent you mail or other electronic material that you found offensive, you may need to document these too.
Everyone deserves a safe and harassment-free workplace. If you are sexually harassed at work, it is important that you take steps to protect your rights while pursuing justice.