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Suicide risk increases for sexual harassment victims

| Nov 20, 2020 | Sexual Harassment |

Going through a traumatic experience can change any Washington, D.C. resident’s life. It is important to keep in mind that what one person considers traumatic can differ from another person’s point of view. However, if people experience something that makes them extremely uncomfortable, it can affect their outlook on life and possibly even lead to suicidal behaviors. Unfortunately, one recent study links such behaviors with workplace sexual harassment.

Information already exists regarding how such harassment can affect a person’s mental state. Feelings of anxiety, stress and depression are not unusual in victims of unwanted sexual behaviors. However, a more recent study found that victims faced an increased risk of suicide and attempted suicide. In fact, the risk of suicide was nearly three times as likely to affect a victim as someone not subjected to such harassment.

Because these incidents can have such major effects on a person’s mental state and outlook on life, it is important that he or she receive help after facing such harassment. Of course, numerous individuals do not report these incidents for various reasons, including intimidation at work or even embarrassment. Still, employers can take steps to prevent such harassment and ensure that workers receive mental health screenings after undergoing such a potentially traumatic experience.

Though employers in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere have obligations to protect their employees, that is not always what happens. Fortunately, even if an employer does not properly handle a sexual harassment complaint, victims are not out of options. Individuals who believe that they were mistreated on the job may have reason to pursue legal action against their harassers and employers if necessary.