structures, women often hold back from sharing incidents about sexual harassment.The impact of sexual harassment is so strong that the victim refrains from reporting the case dueto the following reasons:
They are embarrassed and humiliated by the incident.
They fear the matter will be trivialised and disregarded.
There is a sense of insecurity that they will not be believed, as very often there is noproof of the incident.
They feel that no action will be taken and the perpetrator will be allowed to go free.
There is a fear from gossip and further humiliation.
They also fear negative repercussions and retaliation from the harasser or even theprincipal employer.
They fear being asked to leave or taking a transfer even if the harasser is found guilty.In short, women fear being made victims twice over if they raise their voices about sexualharassment, first by complaining and secondly when they are victimised for having complained.Employers should recognise that sexual harassment in the workplace takes away from thewoman her right to live and work with dignity. Often, these small and mundane instances take onaccumulative and enhanced patterns, permeating the entire lives of the affected women.It is therefore of crucial importance to define and label these behaviours as sexual harassment,thereby recognising that they do exist and have a negative impact on the environment of theworkplace. It is only by doing so will organisations/ individuals recognise that they are common
occurrences and important to address rather than trite and confined to ‘just a particular woman’and her ‘peculiarities’ (Wise and Stanely in Thomas and Kitzinger 1997:114).
Racial harassment occurs when a person or group repeatedly uses discriminatory remarks,behaviours or practices to show racial intolerance against a co-worker or their colour, descent,culture, language or religion.For example:
Making jokes, insinuations, humiliating comments or racially oriented remarks.
Criticizing and being intolerant in regards to the victim’s differences: his or her accent,
clothing, hairdo, customs and beliefs.
Acting seemingly disgusted or showing contempt in the victim’s presence.
Finding excuses for not working with the victim.
Stereotyping the victim with subordinate tasks or case-loads.
Trying to hinder or stop the victim’s chances for a promotion.
Showing comic strips, pictures or images that are racially degrading.