Allegations of rape, sexual assault and sexual harassment against uber movie producer Harvey Weinstein have filled the news this week, as stars such as Rose McGowan and Nicole Kidman have revealed that he harassed them and more. Want to make sure this never happens to you? We spoke to an expert and have tips to help you in your life!
Harvey Weinstein is currently facing an avalanche of sexual harassment allegations from various celebs like Rose McGowan, Angelina Jolie and more, but Hollywood isn’t the only place where acts of abuse like this are happening. Sadly, it’s happening everywhere — you may just not know about it because a lot of victims never come forward and report what has happened to them. In order to find ways to stay safe, we reached out to Dr. Carole Lieberman, Beverly Hills forensic psychiatrist and expert witness, and she gave us some great insight on what to do if you’ve been harassed and how to steer clear of it happening to you in the future. See her tips below:
How does one know if they are being harassed?
1. If someone is being assaulted sexually, or pressured to engage in sexual activities that they don’t want to partake in, or are constantly barraged by sexual comments that they find offensive, then they are being harassed.
How should victims go about reporting their offenders? Should they consult a lawyer?
2. If a victim of sexual harassment is an employee of a company that has a Human Resources Department, they should report it to them. If this is not the situation, the victim should consult an attorney to have them evaluate whether the acts rise to the level of illegal sexual harassment.
Why do people fail to report their offenders?
3. People fail to report their offenders for fear of retaliation — such as being fired, blacklisted, or physically attacked. They are also afraid of not being believed or of people shaming them — telling them that they wanted it all along.
What shouldn’t you do if you’ve been harassed?
4. If you’ve been harassed, you should not simply continue to go along with it, in hopes that you can sweet talk the harasser into stopping. This will be misconstrued as your wanting the harassment to continue and then it will be considered consensual.
Is sexual harassment illegal?
5. Sexual harassment is illegal if it includes unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors. Teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious are not illegal. But, if the harassment is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile work environment, or results in the victim being fired or demoted, then it is illegal.