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Understanding the Complexities of Same-Sex Sexual Harassment

dupage county sexual harassmentIf you do a quick Google search for “sexual harassment,” you may notice that the results often assume that the perpetrator of the harassment is a man and the victim is a woman. While it is true that sexual harassment victims are more likely to be women, men can also be sexually harassed. Sexual harassment can happen to anyone of any gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality, or profession. Likewise, sexual harassment perpetrators may be men or women of any demographic.

Unfortunately, the stereotype of a male authority figure harassing a female subordinate has limited our view of sexual harassment in the workplace. Sometimes, this can make it harder for atypical harassment and discrimination victims to come forward and report the harassment. This is especially true of same-sex sexual harassment victims.

Sexual Harassment When The Victim and Perpetrator Are the Same Genders

When a woman is sexually harassed by another woman or a man is sexually harassed by another man, the victim is often hesitant to make a report. They may second guess themselves or wonder if they are overreacting to the situation. Some same-sex harassment victims may also be LGBT individuals who are still “in the closet” or simply want to keep their sexuality private. They worry that reporting the harassment will “out” them to co-workers.

If you have been harassed by someone of your same gender, you should know that state and federal sexual harassment laws apply just as much to you as they apply to anyone else. Sexual harassment is against the law regardless of the gender of the parties involved.

Steps for Reporting Same-Sex Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment may involve sexually explicit, derogatory, or offensive remarks and actions. It may be overt or subtle. Sexual harassment may also involve “quid pro quo” offers for work-related benefits in exchange for sexual favors.

If another person’s actions have made you uncomfortable at work, do not hesitate to speak up. You may want to start with speaking directly to the person who is making you feel uncomfortable. Some people may not realize how their actions are affecting their co-workers. However, if the situation does not improve, the next step is to file a sexual harassment complaint in accordance with your company’s sexual harassment policy. If the situation is still not resolved, it may be time to speak to a lawyer and take legal action.

Contact a DuPage County Sexual Harassment Lawyer

When sexual harassment is perpetrated by a man against a man or a woman against a woman, the victim may be less likely to come forward and report the harassment. However, the only way to put an end to workplace sexual harassment is for victims to assert their rights and stand up for themselves.

The DuPage County sexual harassment attorneys at MKFM Law know just how difficult and complicated same-sex sexual harassment cases can be. We are here to walk you through the process of filing a complaint and taking the appropriate legal action. Call us today at 630-665-7300 for a free, confidential consultation.

Source:

https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/sexualharassment/Pages/Reporting.aspx

 

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