Handling harassment as a woman can often feel stressful, nerve-wracking, and downright scary, especially if you are overpowered or intimidated by your harasser. Knowing the steps to take to protect yourself from harassment can help to give you a boost of confidence when in a difficult and unpredictable situation.
Know What It Looks Like
Learn how to identify harassment and what it looks like. Aside from the common kinds of sexual harassment, there are more things to look for, such as workplace bullying and cyberbullying. Cyberbullying is no longer a tactic only used by preteens and teens. Today, social media is used to bully individuals of all ages, which is why it is essential to remain aware of any and all postings tied to your name online. It is also important to know your own limits and what is acceptable and unacceptable to you. You shouldn't have to be afraid to be out and about in the world while feeling scared and intimidated. Establishing your own boundaries and limits can help you to feel more comfortable whenever you are on your own.
Don't Be Afraid to Speak Up
When you are being verbally harassed and want to speak up, do not be afraid to do so. Stand up for yourself by asserting that your harasser's comments are inappropriate and unwelcome. Avoid using personal attacks or insults while speaking up to avoid further provoking and engaging your harasser. Simply state that their comments are disrespectful to you and no longer welcome to assert your response.
While it is always important to defend yourself, speak up and stand your ground when you feel physically threatened or violated. In some cases, it is best to keep moving on and away from your harasser. Avoiding the temptation to engage with a harasser may be difficult, but it can also save you trouble, stress, and a potentially dangerous situation that may arise if you do choose to respond. Putting yourself at risk is never a solution, even if the harasser is being downright rude and disrespectful.
Knowing how to protect yourself from harassers as a woman can feel empowering, especially if you have previously felt scared or unsure of yourself while alone. When you feel confident in your ability to protect yourself from harassment, it is much easier to enjoy the world around you without feeling overwhelmed.
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