Sexual harassment in the country is increasing at an alarming pace and it has actually become mandatory for an individual to be able to identify the situations that can actually lead to sexual harassment.
Kanishk Agarwal, Advocate and Founder of Law Firm called CriTaxCorp and a technology enthusiast, who intends to address the issue of Sexual harassment at Workplace through his soon to be launched tech model, suggested some important situations and probable reasons that actually might cause an incident of sexual harassment to happen.
Indecent gesture is most common symptom that can lead to something bigger. A person may be your colleague, manager, staff or even boss, who may be indulging into such indecent act.
Indecent gesture can be defined as gesture or position of the body, especially by hands or arms that may be offensive or vulgar in nature.
Such obscene gesture are often sexually suggestive.
If you do not pretend and oppose such gesture at the first instance itself, it may further lead to motivate the accuser to repeat the same.
The offender may take you as a grantee for being receptive of such indecent gesture and further lead to sexual harassment by the offender.
An important point to note here is that under the realm of sexual harassment the intent of the offender do not matter, it depends whether the victim have felt offended by such indecent gesture or not.
Any kind of obscene comment which is unacceptable in normal behavior can be defined as abusive comments.
Abusive comment can be use of foul language, derogatory remarks which harm the reputation of a person, in society or at workplace, use of unwanted words to convey a thought. Some of the examples can be speaking to staff or a colleague by repeatedly using foul language/galiyan in the conversation, uttering words like slut, dog, money digger, bitch, bloody (harami) etc.
Most of the people take the shelter that these words are used on daily basis or it is the cool language of conveying thoughts but the point every victim should know is that abusive comments only stops when the victim intends them to stop.
If the situation sill persists then action needs to be triggered against such acts. Remember, a voice raised is a voice heard.
Possessiveness is like a slow poison, it starts from caring for someone to getting envy and then getting too much possessive about someone which might actually lead to obsession in certain cases.
Possessiveness is an antonym of care but there is a very thin line between the two extreme emotions and in certain cases the former lead to sexual harassment.
This type of sexual harassment is found mostly amongst colleagues or friends or dating couples and even mentor and mentee relations. In this state one person tend to care about the other person in a healthy manner, at first, however the care or affection towards the other person grows to such an extent that the offender start thinking that whatever decision he/she is taking for the other person is the only correct decision.
If the presumed care by offender is being rebutted with no from the victim then it may lead to some forms of sexual harassment like stalking, cyber harassment, verbal harassment (use of foul language) and even physical harassment to make the victim do what the offender deem fit and appropriate.
The best way for any person to avoid such situations are to draw a line when a caring person start shouting or making you uncomfortable for not listening to his/her thoughts of people who are getting close to you.
If we talk about the unacceptable attitudes it can be defined as the tendency to reacts negatively towards a person, situation or anything else.
The person with such an attitude posses a great threat for girls, women and others as well.
If such person does not like the way you respond to their decisions then they tend to make the victim like miserable.
It happens day in and out at workplaces be it due to the fact that the offender may desire a sexual favor or your consensus over an issue which the offender deems right.
These are the people who tend to bend rules to make people pave the way for them and if someone dares to question they create roadblocks in their career path.
The best way to deal with such situations is to handle such situations tactfully by not clearly rebutting the person but at same time taking such issues with the higher management superior to that person and demanding it to handled tactfully.
Remember if you submit to the offender whims then it will consume you in a trap from which you would not be able to leave later even if you want to.
So the best way it to respond to it at first instance in a tactful manner that it do not result into retaliation.
Taking advantage because of the post at workplaces by seniors, management officials, and even by the boss is the worst situation of sexual harassment and molestation and is called quid pro quo. Many times your boss or senior colleague tries to harass you sexually by offering some kind of professional or even personal benefits.
One needs to be strict at his/her workplace from the starting itself in his/her professional and personal approach to avoid such situation.
Sexual harassment Act 2013 clearly deals with such situations and also with situations of retaliation in cases such demands are not acceded to. Be Strong, Be Brave and report such incident.
Remember this is one of the gravest situation of sexual harassment and the offender always prey upon victim fear to say NO, but such a simple yet strong word can make you stand tall amongst others and most importantly in the mirror.
Now anyone would think that why can’t one share private pictures or conversations with their loved ones, well sharing private pictures with a person with whom you got into a relation with might turn out to be a situation of concern.
There have been many instances where couples tend to share their private pictures with each other and end up getting blackmailed when things don’t go the right way.
Many times such private pictures or captured shared moments turn out to be a dangerous tool in the hands of wrong confidante.
This is also a form of quid pro quo harassment which is usually found outside workplace and prominently in school or colleges.
In this the offender may demand for sexual favor or money or professional/personal favors etc.
To tackle such situations is to explain such situations to family members/close friends/teachers because these types of offender feed on fear of victim to get humiliated amongst family or friends or colleagues and they take advantage of such situations.
The more you accede to their request the more they demand and the moment you resist or stand up to fight, no one is more coward than they are as their leverage is gone.
Lastly, above situations might be occurring several times in daily life of any person but the moment it become offensive to the victim that is the moment it become sexual harassment.
One should always handle such situations by giving a warning first is offender is a friend or colleague or an acquaintance but if situation persist then don’t hesitate to handle it through proper channel.
As for senior or bosses or people who hold influence over you try and handle such situation tactfully by conveying your objection to same and if situation persist approach their senior about the same.