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Adults are people who attained a certain legal age, generally 18 and above, who are able

to manage his or her own dealings. These people do what they have to do when it is needed, and
they do what they want when they can. They are able to discern and manage their time and
efforts for that reason. They may also explore long-lasting intimate relationships and may
continue to build their lives by focusing on their career and family. However, every adult faces
personal or social issues towards their work. Any risks to an individual in the workplace are one
of the issues that should be given importance. In workplaces, the safety of everyone is very
important to ensure protection and productivity of every individual towards their work because
these persons may encounter some personal or social issues such as harassment, violence, and
other traumatic circumstances.
Harassment refers to any physical or verbal manner that maligns or shows hostility or
aversion toward a person because of their race, skin color; religion, gender, national origin, age,
or disability. Harassment comes in different ways including sexual harassment, bullying, and
discrimination. It can also take place on the streets, in stores, on public transportations, in parks,
in schools, in workplaces, at homes, and at beaches. According to the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission (2011), sexual harassment is an undesirable verbal and physical
behavior that affects a persons condition and performance in the workplace. Generally, it refers
to unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical manner of
a sexual nature. Sexual harassment takes place in three forms which are verbal, physical and
non-verbal sexual harassment. First, according to Aquinas (2007), physical harassment involves
unwanted touching, pinching, standing or sitting too close with the intention of touching against
someone else's body. Second, verbal sexual harassment is all about entering or interfering about
the dress, sexual desirability, body or sexual orientation of a person. Third, non-verbal sexual
harassment involves insulting noises, offensive gestures, whistling, staring, displaying indecent
pictures or posters, drawings, screensavers, emails or text of a sexual nature.
Sexual harassment is the most sensitive issue in an organization in which both men and
women are experiencing it, although 80% of women encounter this (Human Resource
Management, 2014). The most commonly harassment targets are new employees, people who
are under probation in their jobs, and the young and inexperienced. People who have recently

experienced a personal crisis, such as separation or divorce, are often victims. Women in usually
male jobs are also more subject to sexual harassment.
When people find themselves in a sexual harassment situation, they often feel
overwhelmed, confused, unproductive, afraid, feel unsafe and alone, and unable to find the
words to confront the harasser. There are a lot of reasons why victims may not be able to tell
anyone what is going on at the time. Denial and repression are usually used as coping
mechanisms, which allows the victims to function in their daily living. As a result of sexual
harassment, violence, and other traumatic circumstances in the workplace; victims usually suffer
low-self-esteem, anger, stress humiliation, disinterest in their job, and a feeling of powerlessness.
Most victims of sexual harassment who do not report the problem are less satisfied with their
work, supervisors, and co-workers, and they may psychologically withdraw at work. They may
also suffer from poorer mental health and even exhibit symptoms of post traumatic stress
disorder in combination with the harassment experience. Some victims report alcohol abuse,
depression, headaches, and nausea.
Sexual harassment is problematic because it will affect whoever will be the victim of it. It
can harm a person not just physically, but also emotionally and psychologically in different
aspects of their life (The danger of violence and harm to others, 2015). Employees who
experienced this will often exposed to severe emotional, mental and serious traumas that may
affect their professional and personal lives (Powell, 2011). Some research suggests that most
sexual harassment that already happened in the workplace do not report their experiences.
According to Cogin & Fish, HR managers should be prepared to the future problems and they
should start programs that will focus on leadership development, team building and social
interaction. Employee and organizations should have moral and a legal obligation to assure the
work environment is free from sexual harassment. (Cogin, 2014).
Victims of sexual harassment can have very serious consequences and they can
experience anxious relationships in the workplace, but are also at risk for various health
problems. The psychological, emotional, social, and physical effects that a victim who
experienced a sexual harassment may depend on its severity and it can vary from discomfort to
devastating. Its duration may end a short or long time, and can even make a negative effect in the
affected workplace or living environment. First, physical effect, according to Pellegrini (2001),

once a person already experienced a sexual harassment they can suffer from headaches, stressrelated ailments and stomach ailments. Rudman, et al (1995) also said that the result of physical
effects can affect the employee's health and may cause them to have a prolonged absence from
Second, emotional effect, sexual harassment can have a big impact to the emotional
aspect of the subject of it. Because of what they have encountered, they may tend to blame
themselves because they will think that it is their fault. There is also a possibility that they will
feel a lot of guilt from what is happening to their own self and their surroundings. According to
Rudman, et al (1995), those employees who are harassed may suffer from feeling of isolation
among other employees, distress, depression, fear with other people and surroundings, anxiety,
self-doubt, loss of focus and sometimes they tend to withdraw from their work. It also hinders
them to do great performance because of the result of their emotional situation. They are also
prone to numerous unusual or strange things that may cause a vast stress to them that can affect
their attitude towards their work.
Third, social effect, it can relate in physical or emotional taken from friends, family and
even co-workers (Khan and Mawire, 2005). They also state that some victims who experience
sexual harassment have difficulty in interacting with other people and it tends to end with them
avoiding other people. They will also have fear to go back to work because of the incident that
they have experienced there. Most people have fears on things that remind them about their
experience of being harassed; some of them distance themselves to others because they do not
want to get involved on it. They also might indulge in alcohol or drug use and because of that it
can affect their performance.


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Commission, E. E. (2011). Sexual Harassment. In Nelson/Quick, ORGB Student Edition (p. 29).
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Faris, A. & Ooijen, E. (2012) Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy: A Relational Approach
8th Edition. McGraw-Hill
Makaita Margret Mukosi, M. N. (June 29, 2015). EFFECTS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT ON
EMPLOYEE. Global Journal of Research in Business & Management Vol 2, No 2.
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Powell, G. N., 2011. Women and men in management, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Slocum, Jr., J. & Hellriegel, D. (2011). Principles of Organizational Behavior 13 th Edition.
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