Did you know according to a survey of the United Nation one-in-three women experience physical and sexual abuse?(United Nation). Sexual harassment can be defined as a heinous act characterized by the forming of unwelcome sexual advances or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature in a social situation or workplace (Edlan, 2017). Although there are many strict laws against sexual harassment, 70% of victims of sexual harassment didn’t report it. Major causes behind this heinous act are- have been socialized to suffer in silence, have been threatening by harassers, have been ignored etc. that is badly impacts not only mental health issues and physical problems to victims but also has negative impacts on society and economic states as well.
Firstly, if a woman is sexually or physically harassed like rape, usually she does not report because of being threatened by harasser or having fear to be blamed by this patriarchal society which is the major cause of the expansion of sexual harassment. It is a historical practice regarding rape cases to blame women by telling them that women “invited” the rape by their dress. According to a report of 2019 of Mahila Parishad, 731 women were ravished, 117 women were sexually assaulted, 276 women were murdered in a half-year in Bangladesh (731 women raped in 6 months, 2019). It has a bad impact both physically and mentally on victims. Victims suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which influences them suicidal thoughts or attempts. Victims also suffer from many sexual diseases. So, it has a bad impact both physically and mentally on victims (Effects of Sexual Assault and Rape, 2019).
Secondly, victims of sexual harassment either verbal or non-verbal usually ignored when they report against harassers and sometimes they keep silent for fear of losing jobs. For example, Jenna Ries, an employee of McDonaald restaurant who suffered sexual harassment for a long time. She reported many times to the manager but he didn’t take any action. She said, “They frequently grabbed my body parts, including my crotch, breasts, and buttocks. I was constantly in fear of losing my job” (Werner, 2019). Sometimes it made victims to quit their jobs. Consequently, decreasing productivity is very common in workplaces with high rates of sexual harassment. So, it has bad impacts on the economy of a country as well.
Thirdly, most of the victims never speak up because of our patriarchal society and its narrow-minded believes which play a vital role to the expansion of sexual harassment. It is very traditional that girls are taught to keep silent and to overlook bad behaviour by males (Stop Violence Against Women, 2018). According to a survey 77% of women are experienced verbal sexual harassment like whistled at or getting unwanted comments of a sexual nature (Fung, 2018). This made women to stay at home instead of going outside.
In conclusion, sexual harassment can be said as unwanted conduct that creates a toxic environment. It can have emotional, psychological and physical effects on victims. It also affects on the economy of a country as well. So, it should be stopped. Women deserve an environment which is free from harmful harassment. In the workplace, all should be expected to behave like professionals.