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Harassment in the United Kingdom

There are so many issues that we have to deal with everyday, and harassment is just one more unpleasant issue to contend with. There are a few different types of harassment that you should definitely be aware of. Knowing what types of harassment to look out for is the best and easiest way to  find out how to best deal with the issue at hand. Any form of harassment comes with different challenges and different ways to deal with it.

Defining Harassment

The first step to dealing with any sort of harassment is to know just what harassment is and what it encompasses. Having a very basic definition is the first place to start and can make any sort of means of dealing with it much easier. Harassment, in very basic terms, is any type of verbal, physical, or emotional issues that lead to permanent problems. Those that are being harassed are often treated badly and are often subject to being called names, to being beaten up, or to being mercilessly tormented. Often, those that are being harassed have little that they can do to stop the person that is doing it.

There are various laws that are in the works to help those that are being harassed to deal with their tormentors. One good example of harassment that many people deal with on a daily basis is bullying. There are now laws in the UK that are in place to protect those that are being harassed and to help prosecute the aggressors. This law was put in place to namely deal with cyber or online bullying. More children and young adults than ever before are taking drastic measures to deal with those that are harassing them. Though suicide is an awful and permanent solution to a temporary problem, many young people that are harassed on a daily basis are more likely to commit suicide than others that are not harassed. These laws have been so far kept mostly to the UK but it is certainly gaining ground in the United States and other areas.

Sexual Harassment

There are other types of harassment that you are likely to deal with, and sexual harassment is something that is fairly common. When it comes to sexual harassment, the pursuit is of a sexual nature. In most cases, those that are being sexually harassed are forced to ward off sexual advances, touches, and comments that they do not want from another party. In many cases, those that are being sexually harassed feel as if they have no real way of dealing with the issue.

Sexual harassment in the United Kingdom is much like that in other countries. There are a few different things that qualify as sexual harassment. For starters, it can encompass actions like physical conduct, verbal conduct, and non-verbal conduct that are unwanted. In the United Kingdom, the employer is liable for the actions of the employee which means that even if a lower level employee is harassing another employee, the employer is the one that has to answer for the actions.

In most cases, there are plenty of sexual harassment seminars that are present to help keep the people in line and to make sure that their employees know what is allowed and what is not allowed. The United Kingdom has a large range of solutions to any sexual harassment case like the Public Order Act that helps everyone know how they should act in public and what actions are acceptable and what actions are punishable by law.

Sexual Harassment at Work

There are many an instance where sexual harassment is present and where you should take it to your higher up. In most instances in the United Kingdom and other countries, it is the duty of the employer to make sure that employees know what behavior is acceptable and what is not. This means that you should be safe at the workplace for the simple reason that other employers have been taught how to act by an employer who sets their limits.

Harassment in the workplace is far more common than you might imagine. If you feel harassed at work, you should first figure out what the word “harassment” entails so you can be sure that you are correct in your assumption or feeling. This is a very serious accusation and it can end in the termination of someone’s job, or even worse, criminal charges. If you are sure you are being harassed, you should first take the time to determine what evidence you have.

In any country, but especially in a jurisdiction like England, it is important that you have the right evidence to make sure that you have a solid case. There are times when you might not have the right information and evidence to prove that someone is actually harassing you. When there are laws and precedents in place, it is even more important that you take the time to have a good bit of information and even a witness if possible so that you can have a solid case if you have to file criminal charges.

Sexual Harassment Statistics in the UK

When discussing any sort of crime or offense, it is important to also have some facts and statistics to back it up. For starters, nearly one in five of all women who are 16 and above in England and Wales have filed a sexual assault report before. This is a very startling number and it should be taken very seriously. Another study states that there are around 473,000 adult victims of sexual and sex related crimes every year. Most of these cases are cases of unwanted touching or exposure.

In a study conducted by the Ministry of Justice, it was found that a very small portion of the offenses that were carried out actually went to trial or resulted in a conviction. Of the 5,620 offenders that are taken to trial, only 1,070 of them are actually convicted and punished for rape. Of the 473,000 offenses that are reported each year, only about 73,000 are reported by men. It is crucial that we take the time to really figure out what it is that makes these statistics so shocking and to consider what can be done.

Though it is seemingly a bit lax to consider rape something as simple as sexual harassment, it is really just the extreme end of the harassment spectrum. Most sexual harassment cases are things like unwanted touching or advances and when they are stopped early on, they do not tend to continue or escalate to more serious issues. It is crucial that you take the time to really consider the severity of these statistics.

What Can Be Done About Harassment?

The first step to taking care of any sort of harassment is to first determine if it is really harassment or not. This is easier said than done. Though it may seem very cut and dry, it is important that you define what harassment is. Think about what is being done to you and if it applies as harassment. In some cases, over friendly behavior may seem like harassment when it is not. In other cases, you may brush things off that bother you in favor of keeping the peace. If you feel you are being harassed, you should always do something about it.

The next step is to determine the proper individual or authority to report to. It might seem like going straight to the police is your only option; however, you may be able to go to your boss first in hopes of being able to remedy the issue at that level. For cases of workplace harassment, it is always best to go first to your boss and see what they are going to do about it. If the harassment takes place outside of your workplace or continues after you report it to your boss, you may need to seek further legal help. In this case, you may need to go to the authorities and report the harassment.

If you do report the harassment, the police are likely going to ask you if you want to press charges, that is the next step. You should know if you want to press charges before you report it to the police, you should be ready and willing to see it through to the end. Harassment is a very serious issue and you should treat it as such. You should never make a report that you are not willing to see through or that you are not quite sure whether it is true or not.

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