Healthcare and Medicine Reference
Box 4.2 Guidance from the American Association of
Studies by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) (2005)
were very clear that sexual harassment in the academic workplace is
unwanted and not to be tolerated. This organization provides an extensive
and practical framework on ways that victims can address the physical and
psychological effects of workplace sexual harassment. It also describes how
they can maintain or return to normal socialization, regain personal relation-
ships, and regain social approval. From an emotional perspective it suggests
how they may reduce trauma, and concentrate on a successful quality of life
and the work environment. The AAUW report explains the importance of
organizations providing immediate psychological and legal counseling when
a sexual harassment event occurs. Considerable evidence supports the idea
that self-treatment may not release stress or remove the trauma of sexual
The following principles provide additional suggestions for decreasing
the incidence of sexual harassment in the educational workplace.
Encourage supervisors and administrators to set an example by serving
as positive role models.
Investigate all complaints promptly and confidentially.
Follow-up on all complaints.
Sensitize employees through interactive training.
Treat all complaints as serious matters.
In addition, once a complaint has been adjudicated, efforts must be taken
to ensure a smooth transition for the employees coming back into the work-
place. Follow-up counseling and/or periodic meetings individually with the
party or parties involved should be provided as warranted.
This chapter examines how organizations, businesses, workers, and vic-
tims can enhance the prevention and treatment of sexual harassment in
the workplace. We begin by describing the background, scope, and sever-
ity of the sexual harassment problem. Secondly, we present some
employer-related issues regarding sexual harassment in the workplace dur-
ing the economic downturn. Finally, we suggest policies and approaches
for the establishment and implementation of more-positive sexual harass-
ment policy and treatment.
A good deal of the literature provides guidance regarding the scope of
protection, liabilities, and remedies for sexual harassment. It is essential
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