7 Ways Sexual Harassment Can Harm Your Health

Just about everyone is familiar with what sexual harassment is; whether it be requests or advances that are sexual in nature; physical or verbal harassment; or even offensive remarks about a person’s gender. But did you know sexual harassment is also bad for your health?

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There are quite of bit of misconceptions and assumptions concerning the topic of workplace sexual harassment and how it affects your health. Often times, there are sexual harassment cases that seem to gain popularity in the mainstream news.  In these instances, the media at large seems to grab hold of the stories, only to be thrust into the spotlight where many people would be entertained by those features in the news.  I can somewhat imagine the frustration of the sexual harassment victims involved; to have personal information aired to the public on top of having to deal with the mental distress and immorality that comes with being sexually harassed at your place of employment.

The media, as intricate as can be, when it comes to exposing dirty laundry and defaming the character of not only the harasser; but in many times the victim as well, tends to conveniently disregard a crucial element that seems to be a large part of the outcome stemming from the victims of  sexual harassment.

It happens to be the health damages that come from the victims who suffer, working in a hostile environment and having been subjected to this type of offensive conduct.

A number of studies conducted, determined some interesting findings. In case you didn’t know, here are seven ways that sexual harassment can harm your health:

  1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Research has found that there’s been a close association between sexual harassment victims and PTSD, which means having to go through the ordeal over and over again in the mind of the victim.  This causes the victim to withdraw from people, things and places that remind the victim of the traumatic event.
  2. Neck Pain: It’s been found that the sexual harassment victim experiences aches and pains more then the average person. Women with neck pain were more likely to report unwanted sexual attention.
  3. Suicide: A 1997 Canadian study found that an astounding 15 percent of women who said they attempted suicide had gone through sexual touching that was unwarranted by them.

Important note: If you experience any feelings of suicide or wanting to harm yourself, it’s important to seek help immediately. You can contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1 (800) 273-8255

  1. Depression: If you’ve been sexually harassed, there’s a good chance that you could form opinions of self-doubt. There’s also a chance that those feelings could cause you to blame yourself. Both self-doubt and self-blame can turn into depression; and while you may not feel an immediate sense of those emotions following sexual harassment, it’s still important to be proactive about your health by seeking the advice of a licensed therapist prior to the onset of depression or any mental disorders.
  2. Elevated Blood Pressure: A study conducted in 2008 determined a correlation between women who had been sexually harassed, having higher blood pressure then those who had not. Sexual harassment also has the ability to raise stress levels, so there’s a strong possibility that it could also impact cardiovascular health as well.
  3. Sleep Disturbances: Anxiety and stress are large factors in causing a disturbance of sleep. Since sexual harassment tends to bring on both of those emotions, it has also been associated with sleep issues.
  4. Headaches: In addition to all of the health concerns mentioned above, the victim may also experience severe headaches due to the extreme level of anxiety and possible scrutiny that he or she may come under for reporting the abuse.

It’s important to seek the help of a physician if you are experiencing any of the above health concerns.  Sexual harassment is an indecent, shameless, cowardly act on behalf of the harasser. Whether the harasser is male or female, the mental pain endured by the victim is not only disturbing; but after taking an in depth look at the health issues suffered, one can empathize that the pain travels far deeper than what’s on the surface.

Don’t let your harasser get away with the abuse.  If you have been the victim of NYC workplace sexual harassment or discrimination, our team of New York City sexual harassment lawyers strongly urge you to reach out to our law firm for a free consultation. You have every right under the law. You do not need to accept working in a hostile job environment.


For a FREE Consultation in NY, NJ & PA schedule a free consultation with a sexual harassment attorney at the Derek T. Smith Law Group, PLLC in NY, NJ, PA and D.C. You can reach us online or by calling 877-4NYLAWS.  Our New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey employment law attorneys handle cases involving sexual harassment, employment discrimination, and other employment-related EEOC & lawsuits. We serve clients throughout New York, including Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. We also have offices in New Jersey, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. to serve you.

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