“Some basic steps should be followed if you’re bringing a sexual harassment complaint. Here are 10 tips from Marcia Greenberger and her National Women’s Law Center on what to do if you feel you are a victim:
1. Tell the harasser that you want the unwelcome behavior to stop.
2. Use your employer’s internal complaint or sexual harassment procedures. If you fail to take advantage of this, your employer might be able to avoid legal liability.
3. Keep a log of the unwelcome behavior, describing what happened, where, when and who else was there. Do this promptly, and note the date and time you are writing it down. Keep it at home to avoid having it destroyed by your harasser or employer.
4. Keep copies of any offensive notes, pictures or other documents that relate to the harassment.
5. Keep copies of your work records, including your performance evaluations and any other documents relating to your job performance. An employer may defend itself by attacking your performance.
6. Talk to co-workers about your harassment if you can. “Sometimes the person who’s acting inappropriately could be acting inappropriate to a number of people,” Greenberger says.
7. Tell friends and family about the harassment. It’s not only a source of support, it can be important evidence later.
8. If these steps don’t end the harassment, you can turn to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or a city or state agency that handles such matters. “The quality of the resources vary from place to place, but they are available, and sometimes they can provide support at different stages in the process,” Greenberger says.
9. Consider legal action. A non-profit group such as the National Women’s Law Center or a local bar association can help point women to a lawyer.
10. If you fear for your safety, turn to local law enforcement. You also may find help from a community group, such as a women’s center or domestic violence center.”