What Are the Best Tips for Preventing Sexual Harassment?

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  • Written By: Alex Paul
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
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One of the best tips for preventing sexual harassment is having a thorough understanding of what sexual harassment actually is. Creating a clear harassment policy for employees also can reduce the chances of it occurring accidentally. Training sessions for staff, including information about how to report an incident, also can be effective at preventing sexual harassment.

The first step to preventing sexual harassment is to understand the different types of behavior. Sexual harassment can be obvious, such as a person attempting to inappropriately touch a colleague, but other types — such as sexual jokes — may be more subtle. Any behavior that involves sexual actions or language that results in an intimidating or offensive atmosphere could be classified as sexual harassment. It’s also important to remember that men can be subjected to sexual harassment in some cases, although this is less common.

One of the most important tips for preventing sexual harassment in the workplace is to have a strong and clear policy to deal with potential offenders. Employees of a company should understand that any form of sexual harassment is unacceptable and could lead to disciplinary action. It also should be made clear to employees that any allegation will be fully investigated, and that anyone who feels sexually harassed should always contact a member of management.


There can be confusion among workers as to what constitutes sexual harassment. For this reason, regular training sessions — mandatory for all staff — are often effective at preventing sexual harassment. The company’s harassment policy should be outlined during these training sessions and the employees taught about what is considered to be sexual harassment. The training session also should include information on what employees should do if they feel harassed or uncomfortable in a situation.

There are a number of other tips that can help prevent sexual harassment. People in positions of power within a company should set a good example by avoiding sexual jokes and any behavior that could be considered harassment. It’s also important for a manager to be in constant contact with his or her employees, because it is often possible to pick up on potential problems before they escalate. Other tips include training other staff members to recognize signs of sexual harassment, making it easy for an employee to make an anonymous complaint and understanding that anyone can be subjected to sexual harassment. It’s also worth remembering that sexual harassment can be caused by people of the same or opposite sex.



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Being able to lodge an anonymous complaint is probably one of the more important keys to preventing sexual harassment. It makes it easier for the person being harassed to report the person. They are spared public embarrassment and are more likely to file a report if their identity is protected.

Threatening a lawsuit all the time is never the answer if a person believes he or she is being harassed, although a well-placed comment might stop the behavior. Otherwise, learn how to show an intolerance of that kind of behavior without being confrontational. My favorite is, "Keep it clean (or PG), guys" or "Would you talk like that in front of your Mama?" That usually has a chilling effect

. Once or twice, I've had to say very quietly, "Say that in my presence again and it is going to get real ugly, real quick." With some men, acting like their mothers is the best way in the world to deflect harassment.

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