Sexual assault in the workplace is a serious offense. Some victims do not report the issue because of embarrassment or various fears. It can be harder to report the offense when the victim is assaulted by one of their superiors. Every employee needs to know what to do if they are ever in a situation like this. There are a variety of actions that can be beneficial to victims if they want to seek compensation for assaults.
Sexual assaults can occur in the form of verbal or written sexual communication, non-verbal actions such as making sexual gestures, and visual assaults such as sharing sexual photos, groping oneself, or displaying sexually explicit drawings. Victims also need to understand that sexual contact does not have to occur for an act to be viewed as a physical sexual assault. Actions such as patting or rubbing on an individual's back, hugging, or any other type of touch that makes an individual uncomfortable could be viewed as physical sexual assault. Here are a few proactive measures that victims can take.
Just Say "No"
This might seem easy if you have never been in this position. However, many abusers choose vulnerable individuals. It is important to let an individual in the workplace know when their advances are unwelcome. You might be able to simply advise them that you are not interested. It does not have to be a dramatic scene, but you need to ensure that the aggressor knows. Otherwise, if you file a personal injury claim, the issue of whether it was consensual will be difficult to prove.
Do not assume that an individual has the authority to sexually assault others in the workplace because they own the company or have seniority. Some sexual assaults reach the level of being prosecuted in criminal and civil court. The issue needs to be reported internally and if necessary, reported to authorities. For example, an alleged rape needs to be reported as soon as possible. There might be physical evidence from rape kits and other evidence available.
If individuals are assaulted by their employers, there are limited options of reporting the incident(s) whether physical or not. These victims have to make the choice of reporting their non-physical assaults to authorities for documentation. This might result in the loss of a job or other repercussions. Victims will need proof beyond stated words. Witnesses, text messages, video footage, personal documentation, and other things can be used to strengthen a claim. However, if a victim has substantial evidence, they could be offered a settlement or win a civil suit.
There are many other things that can prove a sexual assault in the workplace case. An injury attorney is a good resource to use to understand more about these complex cases. If your case involves non-verbal assault, they can advise you of things to do like documenting each time an assault occurs.