Sexual harassment has a major chilling effect on someone’s career advancement. An individual dealing with sexual harassment on the job may suffer from mental health issues that affect their performance because of the behavior of their supervisor, manager or co-workers.
They could lose a job without having one lined up if the employer retaliates against them for reporting their experiences, which might mean taking a less prestigious replacement job or possibly suffering other significance and long-term setbacks. They can lose out on important business contacts if their network of professional acquaintances sides with their abuser due to the perceived business advantages from doing so.
What fewer people realize is that there could be medical consequences that negatively affect someone’s health while enduring sexual harassment on the job and possibly for some time afterward.
How does sexual harassment affect someone’s health?
Medical professionals do not fully understand how the mind and body affect one another, but there is no question about the ability of your psychological state to affect your physical well-being.
Those suffering from sexual harassment at work may develop physical symptoms that include headaches, inexplicable body pain, chronic high blood pressure, sleep disruptions and even blood sugar issues. People can also wind up diagnosed with anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress because of sexual harassment.
Don’t downplay your experience in the hope of moving on
If you have endured abuse on the job that has affected not only your employment but your health, you have a right to hold the other parties involved accountable for the impact of their behavior on your life. Moving on is healthy, but ignoring the impact of harassment on your life and career is not.
Taking legal action after you endure sexual harassment can help hold the perpetrators accountable, reduce the negative impact of the harassment on your long-term success and happiness and even change the way that your former employer handles similar situations in the future. You will protect not only yourself but other people who work for the same company in the future.