Trigger warning: Sexual Harassment
While the healthy competition between the many strata of society increases positivity, the coin’s flip side has called for unwanted harassment of the believed to be “weaker” beings by the “superiors.” While discrimination against race, color, gender, ethnicity, and race is rampant and can ensue in unequal pay or false workplace rumors, things have escalated further to reach sexual harassment. Your right is to report and take legal action against any bodily abuse you face. Unfortunately, even to this day, your complaint can be disbelieved. Here is a list of the evidence you might want to keep handy while filing a sexual harassment lawsuit.
While it is a harrowing experience, you must record any direct or indirect communications by your abuser. Try to record a number of their phone calls and keep the recordings in store. Save copies of any letters, text messages, or lewd photographs they have sent you.
If they approach you physically in a situation, try to keep your phone’s video camera or recorder on and videotape their every action. Note it in a journal or notebook that you can present to be read. Remember that all will be with you, but prepare to be vilified in the eyes of the law.
Sometimes, none of the above conditions is fulfilled when you are subjected to abuse where you have “nothing” to prove your claim. Write down a formal complaint and send copies in writing/mail to your superior/boss if you have experienced non-consensual behavior at the workplace. Keep a record of the responses. If not your boss, send the copies and reactions to your office union and the nearest police department to prepare a strong alibi. Along with this, please ensure your physical safety in case things take a vicious turn.
You can always send an anonymous complaint if you want to. Read the office harassment policies carefully and keep notes.
Chances are your abuser is “friendly” on the outside, and not everyone will believe you. Contact all your trusted friends and family and disclose the matter to them. Do not be scared. It is never your fault if someone else violates your consent, mentally or physically. Share with them all the communications from the abuser and the respective reports so your allies can also be prepared.
Reach out to members in your office and talk to them; you might find several more who have also been subjected to the same trauma. As a collective, you can expect a better chance of winning the case since, sadly, very few believe only the complainer’s words without being backed up by any “proof.”
Even after considering all your documents and a strong lawyer, you might be asked intensely personal and trauma-provoking questions in front of everyone in court. Sometimes, these are triggered mainly due to your ethnicity, gender, caste, or race. Please stay strong and do not let your guard down. We know it is already difficult, but your courage has led you to pursue a complaint, and you shall win it with strong perseverance.
Besides, it might sound negative, but do not expect a satisfying end to your case where you can ALWAYS win; often, the issues are not settled or ended with monetary advantages. While pursuing this is a challenge, it is strongly recommended that you do it for yourself and many others who shall take after you and have the strength to pursue their complaints.