If you are an individual who is receiving unwanted attention, whether it be sexual or constant bombardment, you do not just have to accept it. Instead, you can take steps to make it stop, and if the actions are clear, you may even receive an apology or compensation. So here are three ways that you can get protection against unwanted attention.
Check if the harassment is discrimination
Whether it is happening currently or in the past, you can always check to see if this unwanted attention comes under discrimination. First, you will need to check if the person harassing you is liable under the Equality Act. You could claim discrimination if the attention you received was because of your age or race, which, unfortunately, is quite common.
If you are experiencing harassment in a place of work rather than a park, for example, you will have a stronger case. Citizens Advice provides examples of when you can learn if a person is liable for discrimination.
The harassment you experienced was discrimination under the Equality Act if it was done by:
- your employer
- your school, college or university
- a business or service provider, like a shop or a train company
- a health or care provider, like a hospital or care home
- a landlord or estate agent
- public authorities, for example, the police or your local council
Obtain a non-molestation order
If the unwanted attention you are receiving is from an individual close to you, you might want to consider obtaining a non-molestation order. What is a non-molestation order, though? We hear you ask. Well, it varies from a restraining order as it is not criminal. However, it works in similar ways. It can restrict an individual from harassing you and sending threatening and verbally abusive messages to you. The only caveat is that it would need to be someone with whom you are considered to be connected with; otherwise, a restraining order would most likely need to be obtained.
Someone you are connected with is usually considered a close family member, a partner or a former partner, or someone you are co-parenting your children with. Again, a family solicitor should be able to assist you with this.
Make a complaint to HR
Unfortunately, there are many cases at work where individuals can be victims of unwanted sexual attention. However, it doesn’t always have to be in the office either, where the harassment takes place. It can be on business trips with colleagues or at work events and parties.
Whilst there are tips for avoiding unwanted advances during business travel, you shouldn’t have to. If your company has an HR department, which it should do, or at least has HR procedures, you can always send your concerns to the relevant people. This isn’t always easy, especially if the alleged harasser or abuser is the person whom you would need to raise the complaint.
It is always worth looking into your options about what to do regarding unwanted attention in the workplace. However, you do not have to accept it.
Thank you for reading.