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What Are the Psychological Effects of Sexual Harassment?

DuPage County, IL sexual harassment lawsuit attorney

Workplace sexual harassment is not only a violation of a person’s rights, but it can also be a significant cause of emotional distress. Victims often experience a range of psychological and mental health issues that can severely impact their work and their personal lives. Understanding the impact and effects of sexual harassment and the need to address it promptly is crucial. An experienced attorney can help victims of sexual harassment take steps to protect their rights and address the harm they have suffered.

Emotional and Psychological Effects of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can have profound psychological consequences. Some of the most common emotional issues experienced by victims include:

  • Anxiety and depression: The constant stress and fear associated with sexual harassment can lead to chronic anxiety, while feelings of helplessness and violation can trigger depressive episodes.
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): This mental health condition is characterized by flashbacks, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the sexual harassment. PTSD can significantly disrupt a person’s ability to function on a daily basis.
  • Loss of self-esteem and self-worth: The demeaning nature of sexual harassment can erode a person's self-esteem. Victims may blame themselves for the incidents, leading to feelings of shame and guilt.
  • Sleep disturbances: Victims of sexual harassment frequently report sleep problems, including insomnia and nightmares related to the incidents. Poor sleep can exacerbate other psychological issues and reduce a person’s overall well-being.

The Impact on a Person’s Work Life

The effects of sexual harassment can significantly impair a victim's professional life, leading to issues such as:

  • Decreased job performance: The stress and anxiety caused by sexual harassment can lead to difficulties performing work-related duties. Victims may find it difficult to concentrate, meet deadlines, or maintain the quality of their work.
  • Absenteeism: Victims may take more sick days or be absent from work frequently due to the psychological toll of sexual harassment. This absenteeism can further affect their professional reputation and career progression.
  • Strained workplace relationships: Sexual harassment can affect a person’s relationships with their colleagues and supervisors. Victims may withdraw from social interactions, leading to isolation and a lack of support at work.
  • Career impact: In some cases, victims may feel compelled to leave their jobs to escape ongoing sexual harassment. This can result in financial instability and disrupt their career advancement.

Ways Sexual Harassment Can Affect a Victim’s Personal Life

The effects of sexual harassment are not confined to the workplace; they often spill over into other aspects of a person’s life, including:

  • Strained personal relationships: The emotional distress caused by sexual harassment can affect a person’s relationships with their family and friends. Victims may become withdrawn, irritable, or less communicative, affecting their social interactions and support networks.
  • Health problems: Chronic stress from sexual harassment can lead to multiple types of health concerns, such as high blood pressure, headaches, and gastrointestinal problems. The impact on a person’s physical health can further aggravate their emotional distress.
  • Reduced quality of life: A person’s enjoyment of daily activities, hobbies, and personal pursuits may decline as they grapple with the psychological aftermath of sexual harassment.

Contact Our DuPage County Sexual Harassment Attorneys

When sexual harassment occurs in the workplace, it is essential to take action. At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, LLC., our Wheaton sexual harassment lawyers can provide invaluable guidance and support when addressing these issues. We can help determine the best approach to take to protect a victim’s rights, prevent sexual harassment from occurring in the future, and recover compensation for the damages he or she has suffered. Contact us today at 630-665-7300 to schedule a consultation and take the first steps toward justice.

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From our law office in Wheaton, IL the family law and civil litigation law attorneys of Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick and Mirabella, represent businesses and individual clients throughout the western suburbs of Chicago, Illinois including Wheaton, Naperville, Oak Brook, Glen Ellyn, Carol Stream, Lombard, Downers Grove, Burr Ridge, Lisle, Elmhurst, Oakbrook Terrace, Winfield, Woodridge, Warrenville and throughout DuPage, Kane and Kendall Counties.

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In honor of the passing of our founder, Joseph F. Mirabella, Jr., our offices are closed Friday, January 31, 2020.I Agree