Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment has been a hot topic the past couple of weeks. More and more women are finally speaking out against the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Every day new stories emerge and the extent of his abuse becomes ever more clear.

Today the hashtag “me too” has been trending all over social media in an attempt to raise awareness about sexual harassment. It is chilling to realise that most women I know (including myself) have been subjected to this to a certain degree. If this happens to so many of us, why don’t we talk about it? Why does it take a big Hollywood scandal to start discussing it?

What is sexual harassment?

Before we go any further on this subject, it would be good to know what sexual harassment is. Sexual harassment is a form of unlawful discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. The law says it’s sexual harassment if the behaviour is either meant to, or has the effect of:

  • Violating your dignity
  • Creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

Even though I am writing this from a woman’s perspective, I would like to make it very clear that it is not only women that are suffering from sexual harassment. Men can fall victim too.

Shame

The reason we don’t talk about it, is because we feel ashamed. Ashamed because we feel we might have done something to provoke it, we might have done something wrong. Ashamed that we were unable to prevent it from happening. We feel shame for who we are, how we behave, what we wear, how many drinks we have and whatever else we might do to make a man think it’s OK to do whatever he wants.

There is no shame in being who you are. There is no shame in going out and having a nice time. There is no shame in dressing the way you like. There is definitely no shame in saying no, even though you have been flirting all evening.

Can hypnotherapy help?

Hypnotherapy can help you work through the initial trauma of the incident to make sure that it doesn’t do you any more psychological harm. It might be your natural instinct to pretend it didn’t happen in order to protect yourself, but bottling things up tend to do more harm  good. Hypnotherapy offers a very safe method of working through traumatic events and help you re-build your self-confidence.

Speak out

The hashtag “me too” gives us the great opportunity to speak out about this. We need to be clear that it is OK to talk about what happened to you. You no longer need to be ashamed about what has happened. You can begin to heal yourself by realising it is not your fault.

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