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Speak Up or Stay Private after Sexual Harassment or Assault?

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Surviving sexual harassment or sexual assault is very traumatizing. Is it better to talk about it publicly or keep it to yourself? Find out at HealthyPlace

Speak Up or Stay Private after Sexual Harassment or Assault?

In October, powerful movie maker Harvey Weinstein was revealed to be a sexual predator, thus far accused of sexually harassing and/or assaulting more than 80 women. Since then, hundreds of women, and some men, throughout Hollywood and beyond have spoken up against numerous producers, directors, actors, writers, politicians, and more.

Sadly, sexual harassment and assault can happen anywhere. If it were to happen to you (or if it has), how would you handle it?

What are Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault?

Sexual harassment involves someone, man or woman, making unwanted sexual advances or innuendos to another man or woman and implies that there will be negative consequences if the person doesn’t cooperate (uslegal.com).

Sexual assault is “a sexual act upon or directed to another which is unwanted and not consented to by the other” (Duhaime’s Law Dictionary). Needless to say, the effects of sexual assault can be devastating.

Should You Speak Out of Keep Quiet?

Some people speak out about sexual harassment and assault. In response to movie powerhouse Weinstein, many people have become publically vocal about harassment and assault they have received, protesting and engaging online in the #MeToo campaign. Some reasons people give for being outspoken:

  • To bring their assailant to justice
  • To feel a sense of empowerment, that they’re not a helpless victim
  • To prevent the harasser from tormenting others

Some people, however, prefer to remain quiet about their ordeal. Their reasons are valid, too:

  • Fear of negative consequences, such as losing their job
  • Fear of being shunned and/or accused of lying
  • A desire to just move on

When it comes to speaking out or not, the right thing to do if you face sexual harassment or assault is what works for you and your situation. With the support of someone you trust, seek legal help and mental health help. Doing so will help you sort things out and decide what is best.

Remember that harassment and assault aren’t your fault. Remember, too, that you don’t have to go on a crusade for all of humanity. Take care of yourself and your own wellbeing.

Related Articles Dealing with Sexual Harassment and Assault

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: Whether you’re someone who speaks out openly about being sexually harassed or sexually assaulted or someone who prefers to remain private, how have your actions affected you? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page and on the HealthyPlace Google+ page.


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That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the HealthyPlace.com site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook, stumbleupon, or google+) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week, circle HealthyPlace on Google+, follow HealthyPlace on Twitter or become a fan of HealthyPlace on Facebook. Also, check out HealthyPlace on Pinterest and share your mental health pins on our Share Your Mental Health Experiences board.

back to: HealthyPlace.com Mental-Health Newsletter Index

 

Last Updated: 15 November 2017
Reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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