Overcoming the trauma of sexual harassment

The trauma experienced by victims of workplace sexual harassment can range in severity based on the case. Some individuals will be hurt and angry and nothing more. Others will suffer from lasting psychological harm that requires long-term treatment to overcome.

In this regard, sexual harassment doesn't only relate to the loss of income experienced by someone who loses his or her job because of sexual harassment. It relates to the psychological consequences of post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma and other lasting mental and emotional effects that can result from the workplace abuse.

We all react to traumatic events differently

A traumatic experience like being sexual harassed can cause a sense of shock and then denial. Next, the affected person will feel victimized and this can impact his or her self-esteem and ability to function in the world. This is why an experience of sexual harassment can have such an enduring negative effect on our lives.

It's important to remember. We all react to sexual harassment differently. Just because one person can move on from this kind of experience quickly does not mean that another person's experience wasn't more severe and the effects more lasting.

In some cases, victims had to endure the sexual harassment for months or years while he or she tried to resolve the problem on his or her own. Over this time, the effects of sexual harassment can really take their toll on the psyche and emotional body. There are also cases where the sexual harassment ended, and the victim believed he or she could overcome the feelings of shock and victimization without professional help. This can lead to long-term suffering.

Many sexual harassment victims need support from a mental health professional who can help them understand that the harassment was not their fault. Victims can benefit from counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy and psychotherapy, and other types of therapies that deal with trauma, PTSD, anxiety, panic and depression.

Mental health therapies are costly

The costs associated with working with a mental health counselor are high. However, following the successful navigation of a sexual harassment claim, some victims may be able to recover money to pay for their medical care, living expenses and other financial costs caused by on-the-job sexual harassment.

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