Sexual Harassment//photo courtesy of Google Images

By: Kaiden Cilento, Contributing Writer.

Sexual harassment occurs when an individual makes unwanted sexual advances or obscene remarks. Usually this takes place in the workplace, or in social or professional situations. However, sexual harassment is no longer an incident that only takes place in real life – it is now only a like and comment away.

Sexual harassment has many different forms; from inappropriate touching and comments, to unwanted and explicit photos. Sexual harassment is not only an act that takes place when when walking down the street or waiting in line for coffee, it occurs at many different times and in many different places.

Whether online or in real life the harasser strikes fear into their victim. The only difference is  that in real life, the victim knows what their attacker looks like and possibly who they are, whereas online the assailant may be anonymous.

Unfortunately, victims of online sexual harassment are often brushed aside and their harassers do not face any type of consequence, no matter how much distress their victim has faced.

According to a study conducted at Ramapo College, victims of sexual harassment face the possibility of suffering life long psychological effects, which include but are not limited to anxiety, depression, migraines, sleep disorders such as insomnia, eating disorders, nausea, lowered self-esteem and sexual dysfunction. They may also experience workrelated issues ranging from job loss, decreased morale, a decrease in job satisfaction to irreparable damage and isolation from coworkers.

In today’s society only those who are sexually harassing others in person face consequences, whereas online harassers do not.

In addition to the psychological effects of both sexual harassment online and in real life, student victims of sexual harassment may feel pressured to drop a class, change their major or minor and experience physical and psychological distress.

Overall, sexual harassment causes a tense and unproductive working and learning environment. Now imagine being sexually harassed and your assailant faces no consequences.