Fighting Sexual Harrassment in the Military and at Workplaces

Things are looking more promising for people fighting sexual discrimination or harassment in the military. There are more safeguards now in place for reporting these infractions. My friend was successful with her gender discrimination allegation on an Air Force base and is happy in her new department. One Air Force Region has Special Victim’s Counsel (SVC)  which has these important services:

Represents just the victim, providing confidential legal advice and assistance. Protects rights and advises on the investigation & prosecution.

Attends interviews, hearings and court-martials with the victim. The SVC does not work for anyone else on base and their chain of command is a separate office in Washington DC.

The actual report can remain restricted so others can’t see it.

In the Office or Job site:

If appropriate, speak to the perpetrator or have a co-worker do so on your behalf as in the following situation. The boss in one office was a sports coach outside of the work environment and gave his players mini massages to keep their shoulders and neck muscles relaxed during the game. His employees enjoyed these same quick massages when having a frenetic or stressful day and told him so.   A new woman joined this work team and felt like her personal boundary was being invaded and was uncomfortable with these massages. Telling her boss, or having a co-worker tell him that she did not want to be touched would have been more simple.  Instead, she went to the HR department and lodged a formal complaint.  The boss was reprimanded and had to attend a sexual harassment class.  He was banned from touching any employees.  The other employees were miffed about losing their mini massages that helped them be relaxed at work and were not happy with how the new employee handled this situation.

Tips for dealing with Sexual Harassment

Published February 3, 2013 | By Wendi Schuller
If you are dealing with  sexual harassment at work and want to nip it in the bud, here are some suggestions. 1.  Ask around, is it just directed at you, or are there other victims?  Go to the offender’s supervisor, or to HR, enmass.  There is more crediblity with a group complaint. 2.  If you think the offender is just plain stupid , then talk to him and let him know that the line has been crossed. Possibly just educating the clueless one will do the trick.  He may erroneously think that you are “one of the guys”. 3.  Keep meticulous  records with times and dates of what happened. 4.  Use a sense of humor to set the record straight. 5.  Consult an attorney, if all else fails. I read how an ingenius group of women, who worked in a factory, handled this issue.  The floor supervisor would come around and sexually proposition the female workers individually. They talked amoung themselves and realized that they were all his victims.  They decided to take matters in their own hands and stop the problem once and for all.  Their plan was when the supervisor would come around to talk to someone, all of them would shut off their machines to make it quieter.  The victim would yell, whatever the proposition was, like  ” you want to do what to me?”  They knew it would be especially difficult for the first couple of women.  Soon, the  men also turned off their machines when it happened and laughed whenever the supervisor tried his tricks.  After a short while, the supervisor gave up and mainly stayed in his office overlooking the factory floor. Try being creative to avoid a lengthy lawsuit.