How Far is Too Far?
Knowing where the limits are is often a confusing matter when it comes to sexual harassment. Lawyers experienced in this field are continually trying to define the behavior that would constitute sexual harassment. Given the differences in the approach each individual has toward sexual harassment, knowing how far is too far can easily be construed as a very subjective area, and finding the answer to this seemingly simple question is far more complex than a Google search. Consulting with a reliable sexual harassment lawyer will definitely help clear up confusion that you may have, but there are a few things that you can take into account before approaching a sexual harassment lawyer.
Define Sexual harassment:
The first step is to know what defines sexual harassment. Lawyers often define sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual attention or behavior that has a negative influence on a person’s immediate environment. If the behavior of one person is being used to compel another into partaking in sexual activities or creates a situation where the person feels unable to negate the other person’s advances or suggestions, this is considered sexual harassment.
The question you are probably asking now is “what type of behavior are we speaking of?”
Identifying unwelcome sexual attention or behavior:
With such a broad definition, the difficulty for knowing how far is too far lies in being able to identify what behavior could constitute sexual harassment. The answer to this depends on the individual case, but some examples of unwelcome sexual attention or behavior could include:
- Repeatedly requesting a date with someone when the request is unwelcome
- Offering some form of benefit in exchange for personal interest from a particular individual
- Repeatedly trying to turn a professional relationship into a personal relationship
- Continually making sexual jokes and innuendos verbally and physically as well as through email and texts
- Making use of suggestive looks, gestures and sounds in the presence of others
- Touching another in a sexual way
- Creating or distributing visual images that have a sexual nature
While the list of what behavior could constitute sexual harassment is endless the important thing to remember is that it is not the intent of the behavior but rather the impact of the behavior that will be used to ascertain whether sexual harassment has occurred. For a better understanding of whether behavior you have experienced or displayed constitutes sexual harassment, speak with an experienced sexual harassment lawyer.
Dealing with a sexual harassment:
If you feel that you are experiencing sexual harassment there are a number of things you can do. Firstly it is important that you do not blame yourself for the unwarranted attention. Often people feel guilty as the recipients of the sexual harassment and land up not doing anything about it. This only perpetuates the behavior further and could result in severe future repercussions. It is important that you do not let feelings of guilt or self-doubt confuse you and prevent you from seeking help. It is important to act quickly as unchecked behavior has a tendency to escalate rather than disappear. Start keeping a detailed record of sexual harassment encounters – include information such as the nature of the harassment and the date, time and place it occurred as well as whether anyone witnessed it.
If you concerned that you may have indulged in behavior that could be construed as sexual harassment you need to intensively scrutinize it and ask yourself whether it could be interpreted as sexual harassment regardless of your actual intention. One way of doing this is to ask yourself how you would feel if someone used your behavior in the presence of your significant other or loved one.
As an accused or as the victim of sexual harassment the most important thing you can do is contact a sexual harassment lawyer from California Legal Team to determine what your rights are and how to successfully proceed with your situation.