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Information For Sexual Harassment Victims

Being a victim of sexual harassment can be a highly traumatic and disruptive experience for a person to go through. While victims of these incidents can have legal options to address the situation, they may not have the understanding needed to fully defend themselves against these transgressions.

Myth: Sexual Harassment Always Involves Touching

Some victims of sexual harassment may assume that this will always involve touching. While touching is often a part of sexual harassment, this can also be a purely verbal transgression. For example, a boss may imply that an employee's future prospects depend on sexual favors without ever physically touching them. In fact, non-physical incidents of sexual harassment can often be among the more common types of harassment that people will experience. Unfortunately, individuals may not fully appreciate the seriousness of these infractions at the time, but they can still be a source of mental anguish and a sense of violation.

Myth: Sexual Harassment Is Strictly A Criminal Matter

While there can be criminal aspects to a sexual harassment incident, victims will also have the option of pursuing a civil lawsuit against the perpetrator. In fact, victims of these incidents may find that they have more control over this option as they may not be able to convince the local prosecutor to take the case, and the burden of proof will be much easier to meet in a civil proceeding. While the money that you may receive from this proceeding may not heal the trauma that you suffered, it can help to punish those responsible while giving you the compensation that may be used for therapy.

Myth: You Should Always Accept The Initial Settlement Offer

It can be a common tactic for perpetrators of sexual harassment to make a settlement off to their victims. In addition to providing compensation, these agreements may also have burdensome or unfair requirements, such as non-disclosure agreements. While this initial settlement offer may be structured so as to be appealing to victims, a victim should have this offer reviewed by a harassment attorney before deciding whether or not to accept it. In addition to helping to verify that the compensation offer is fair, the attorney will also help you to understand any terms that you may be agreeing to follow. If you find that these initial terms are unacceptable, the attorney will also be able to attempt to negotiate a better offer or pursue a lawsuit against the perpetrators of the harassment.