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Sexual harassment at work

So I was at work and my manager sexually harassed me. He made disgusting comments in regards to my self harm scars and ive left the company. However, i have since struggled from a major relapse in self harm, anorexia and have developed ptsd from the situation. i did before leaving, raise a complaint about the comments, but nothing happened. it was investigated but as there was no evidence either way, i was forced to leave. When the comments were made, i was 17. However, im unsure as to whether there is anything i can do now as it has almost been a year since the incident occurred but it is a constant issue for me and i find it hard to leave the house even for college. I was wondering if you had any advice on this?

thank you

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Sam

Hi there,

Sexual harassment is against the law no matter where it happens. At work your employer has a responsibility to make sure it doesn't happen. If you left your job because you wanted to that's okay, but if you were forced to leave - or felt like you had no choice - then you might have been treated unfairly. The best thing to do would be to get some expert advice before you do anything else.

It's a crime to sexually harass someone and so one option you have is to go to the police. If your employer investigated it they might not be qualified to do so or there's always the chance things are missed or even covered up. The police are impartial – this means they are there to investigate fairly and expertly. Although it may be more difficult to investigate because it was a year ago, it doesn't mean it's impossible. The police should take it seriously no matter how long it's been.

You shouldn't have to leave a job because of harassment. Your employer has a responsibility to make the workplace safe for everyone. If you feel you’ve been forced to leave because of what happened, then your employer might have not acted legally. You can get expert advice from Citizens Advice - it's free and there should be one in your local area.

There are some effects that sexual abuse or harassment can have which may take time to heal. It's okay to get emotional and mental health support for what happened to you. Talking therapy can be a bit scary at first but it can help to have someone you can talk to about your feelings. The first place to go is your GP as they’ll be able to give you the right advice about who to turn to for this kind of help.

Well done for getting in touch, you can talk to our counsellors if you need to practice what you're going to say or if you need some more advice.

Take care,

Sam

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