Men can be victims of sexual harassment, just like women
Guest column by COM 353: Small Group Communication
Sexual harassment is not gender-biased.
Although women are most commonly survivors of sexual harassment, men also are being sexually harassed daily.
Many cases of men survivors of sexual harassment take place in a work setting.
Men in the workplace are harassed by women and even other men.
When working in such close quarters with other people, you need to set personal boundaries.
Even if your personal boundaries differ from those of other, respect needs to be given to those whose boundaries vary from your own.
Oftentimes, employers will see male-on-male sexual harassment as joking behaviors and harmless ‘fun.’
Men and women are being damaged by sexual harassment issues, but not all speaking about it.
Many men will feel ashamed or embarrassed to admit to being a survivor of sexual harassment.
Shame should not be placed on a survivor of sexual harassment.
If you find yourself in the position of being sexually harassed, do not hesitate to take action.
A man being sexually harassed should first speak with the harasser and clearly express his feelings of discomfort with the situation.
Being clear and consistent with your expression will eliminate confusion and establish a boundary.
Confronting the harasser may not always solve the problem.
Going to management or human resources is the next step.
Woman’s Aid and Sexual Agression Peer Advocates have many programs available for survivors, as well as harassers.
Woman’s Aid offers programs, support groups, counseling, and emergency services to those involved in sexual harassment.
Men Overcoming Violent Experiences and Women Overcoming Violent Experiences are two programs offered weekly to those who feel they have been violent or abusive towards others.
Those involved in MOVE or WOVE will learn to build healthy relationships with others as well as recognizing and halting patterns of abuse and violence and develop skills in coping, decision-making, stress reduction, trust and intimacy.
More information on any of these programs can be found at womans-aid.org.
Programs offered by SAPA can be found at cmich.edu/SAPA/Programs.htm.