Report Suggests Sexual Harassment Linked to Health Problems

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According to a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), women who suffer from sexual assault and harassment suffer from a host of health complications at a higher rate than the general public. The tragic consequences of harassment, assault, and other violations of a woman’s autonomy can be seen throughout the study.

For those suffering from unfair discrimination and workplace harassment in Birmingham and throughout Alabama, Five Points Law Group is here to help. Here is what makes the study so telling.

Conditions Linked to Harassment and Assault

It is well-known that traumas may increase one’s risk factors for emotional and physical health problems, but this study goes further and includes things like sexual harassment, thus finally showing the startling connection between what women go through on a daily basis and their adverse health consequences. Conditions the study looked at included:

  • High blood pressure
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances (insomnia, apnea, and others)

According to the study, 304 female nonsmokers between 40 and 60 years of age were evaluated. Of that group, 19% reported experiencing sexual harassment, while 22% experienced some form of sexual assault. A total of 10% reported enduring both. Here is what researchers discovered:

Findings for Sexual Assault Survivors

  • Depression             3 times higher risk
  • Anxiety                2 times higher risk

Findings for Sexual Assault OR Harassment Survivors

  • Sleep problems     2 times higher risk

Findings for Victims of Workplace Harassment

  • Higher blood pressure
  • Higher risk of stroke
  • Higher risk of aneurysm
  • Higher risk of kidney disease
  • Higher risk of heart attacks

What This Means for Women and Employers

Studies like this one may have sweeping implications for employers because this suggests that workplace discrimination and sexual harassment are more than just a mere “legal” concern for employers. They may also pose a physical threat to workers. Therefore, employers who knowingly permit harassment and sexual assaults to take place may arguably be liable for the physical injuries that result.

For women, these studies should send a clear message that even though it may be difficult to self-advocate and come forward, there are serious health consequences that can result from not doing so. Instead, if you believe you are being discriminated against or harassed at work, you should immediately contact an employment lawyer from Five Points Law Group. We may be able to help you understand your rights and protect them.

Deadlines for Taking Action

If you are experiencing discrimination or harassment, you should first attempt to address this by notifying your company in writing that you feel there is a problem and you would like it addressed in a timely manner. If your concerns are ignored and the harassment continues, you should immediately contact an attorney. You may have as little as six months to file a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Failure to properly protect your rights could result in the loss of opportunity to hold your employer accountable. Do not be a victim; stand up for your rights. Call Five Points Law Group today.

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