When people experience sexual harassment in the workplace, they may worry about whether other people will believe them. These cases, however, do not necessarily come down to your word against your harasser’s. They may have mistreated others in the past, and that past record of offenses could be an important part of the evidence supporting your claim.
The person harassing you may have a record of past offenses.
While sexual harassment in the workplace can leave you feeling isolated, the truth is that you might not be the only person impacted by this mistreatment. Unfortunately, many harassers are not first-time offenders. In fact, around 95 percent of women who have reported harassment indicate that the perpetrator went unpunished, meaning that many are allowed to keep their position even after harassing other workers.
These disheartening statistics should not cause you to lose hope, however—in fact, quite the opposite. If your employer took no action to protect employees following a sexual harassment report, that could strengthen your case against the employer. If the person harassing you has a record of previous harassment against employees or if other employees have stories of their own, that can lend weight to your claims. The information provided by past victims can be especially important if you do not have documentation or witnesses of your experiences because it points to a pattern of harassment.
You do not have to navigate the aftermath of harassment alone.
It is also important to seek legal guidance as early as possible and while you are still employed so that you can create a record of your experiences, identify any past victims, obtain medical care as needed, and build the strongest possible case. With the right guidance, you can take steps to protect your career and hold harassers responsible for the mistreatment you experience in the workplace.