One of the most difficult aspects of being a victim of sexual harassment is the embarrassment and humiliation that goes along with the trauma of being harassed. Depending on one’s heritage or cultural background, this humiliation can make it almost impossible to raise a complaint.
A few years ago, I represented a Chinese-American female who had been born in China. Even though she was a victim of a brutal sexual hostile work environment, she kept quiet because, in her culture, communicating such a complaint would bring shame to her and her family. Eventually, things deteriorated to such an extent that she was forced to go out on medical leave. It was during this leave that she communicated about the abusive work environment with her family. While on leave I was consulted with and eventually we filed a complaint in State Court.
The litigation lasted almost two years and it was a difficult process for my client. But things did improve for my client. As with many victims of harassment experience, she went through a psychological transformation from victim to affirmative seeker of justice. By the end of the litigation, my client was able to squarely look her harasser in the eye and deal with him as an empowered individual. That, plus a decent monetary settlement, resulted in a good final resolution for that case.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, please call me.