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Five health effects of sexual harassment


It is fair to assume that Fort Lauderdale readers know that sexual harassment is not okay for many reasons. But an interesting new study has pinpointed some reasons why sexual harassment is bad for female workers in particular.

According to Amy Blackstone, a sociologist with the University of Maine, sexual harassment can have the following impacts on female workers:

  • Depression: After being sexually harassed, some women can experience feelings of self-doubt that can morph into a feeling that they are to blame for the treatment they received. That, in turn, can lead to them feeling unworthy or the impression that they have done something wrong and can set off long-term depression. Of course, those feelings are inaccurate, since a victim of sexual harassment has done nothing to bring that treatment onto herself, but it can be very hard to remember that.
  • PTSD: In severe cases, victims of sexual harassment can experience post-traumatic stress disorder, not unlike what soldiers experience after combat.
  • High blood pressure: Sexual harassment is very stressful and this can lead to women experiencing high blood pressure, which can trigger any number of other health problems.
  • Sleep disturbance: The stress that a woman can feel after being sexual harassed can make it hard for her to sleep, which cuts into not only her job performance, but her overall life enjoyment, too.
  • Suicide: In the most drastic scenarios, the victim of sexual harassment can feel as though she wants to commit suicide. Obviously, this only occurs in some circumstances, but that it still too many - no one should ever feel this way.

Clearly, sexual harassment has very real consequences for one's health. If you ever feel that you may have been sexually harassed, you may want to speak to a lawyer about the conduct about which you are concerned.

Source: Fox News, "6 Ways Sexual Harassment Damages Women's Health," Nov. 9, 2011

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