Sexual harassment is a deep invasion of human dignity and a major invasion of the most intimate privacy. In Germany, almost every second woman has been the victim of sexual harassment. Overall, far more women than men are affected by this crime.
Sexual harassment - more than just a crime
Any act that is not wanted and has a sexual background is considered harassment. There are already sanctions that can be imposed, but this usually only happens when it is already too late. Proper prevention is therefore very important in this area.
Sexual harassment is never to be regarded as “ok” and must be punished and prevented accordingly. Long-term psychological consequences among those affected are unfortunately not exceptional cases.
Sexual harassment - where is the line?
It often does not seem to be clear where exactly sexual harassment begins and what is still OK. It is also clearly regulated by legislation.
Any approach that offends a person's dignity and is undesirable is considered sexual harassment.
It doesn't necessarily have to be a palpable act to bother someone else. A grip on the buttocks or an obscene statement can be enough to belittle another person. A permanent stare, fixed looks or even comments about the figure can represent this fact.
What can be done as soon as you are harassed?
First, the person who is causing the harassment should be informed. Although this should be done politely, it should be decisive.
Under no circumstances should this behavior be dismissed as “not so bad”. Hoping that this misconduct will stop by itself is usually a fallacy. Such unwanted approaches should be nipped in the bud right at the beginning.
In the case of sexual harassment in public spaces, it can help to firmly reject the harasser. This usually feels shame and is afraid to attract the looks of other passers-by. In discos or at events, you should contact the security staff.
Often, sexual harassment also occurs in the workplace. Although this professional environment is often a more difficult situation, one can successfully defend oneself against an attack.
An incident should never be concealed, but rather contact your supervisor. Companies are required by law to protect their workers and employees from sexual harassment. However, you can also contact the works council or the company doctor as a contact person. If the harassment comes from the boss or a senior employee, going to the union is also advisable.
The ongoing discussions about sexual harassment
The issue of sexual harassment is currently dominating the media world more than ever. Again and again women describe their experiences and give other victims the courage to defend themselves.
However, the current discussions only show the extent of sexual harassment to the highest levels. Unfortunately, the background and causes of these attacks are not asked.
The exact causes of this are not easy to interpret.
Women are often portrayed as too emancipated, which speaks for the wrong brutalization of society. Women should never be seen as objects.
In some cultural circles, women's rights are seen as very low and the molester is no different from their background. However, this thinking is by no means compatible with our modern society.
Ultimately, therefore, the question arises of how limits can be placed on sexual harassment and how perpetrators are deterred from the outset
Do you have questions, suggestions or criticism? Please do not hesitate to contact us.