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How Can I Protect Myself From Sexual Harassment?

How Can I Protect Myself From Sexual Harassment?

The Bible’s answer

 Consider these practical suggestions based on wisdom found in the Bible:

  1.   Be businesslike. Be pleasant and respectful to workmates, yet avoid the sort of friendliness that implies that you would accept their sexual interest.​—Matthew 10:16; Colossians 4:6.

  2.   Dress modestly. Wearing provocative clothing sends the wrong message. The Bible recommends dressing “with modesty and soundness of mind.”​—1 Timothy 2:9.

  3.   Choose your friends wisely. If you spend time with those who tolerate or even welcome flirting or sexual advances, you are more likely to receive the same treatment.​—Proverbs 13:20.

  4.   Reject offensive talk. Excuse yourself if a conversation turns to “dirty stories, foolish talk, or obscene jokes.”​—Ephesians 5:4, God’s Word Bible.

  5.   Avoid compromising situations. For example, beware of invitations to stay at work after hours without a valid reason.​—Proverbs 22:3.

  6.   Be firm and direct. If you are sexually harassed, clearly tell your harasser that his or her behavior is unwelcome. (1 Corinthians 14:9) For instance, you could say: “You keep brushing against me, and it makes me very uncomfortable. I want you to stop.” You could write a letter to your harasser describing what happened, how it made you feel, and what you want to happen next. Make clear that your stance is based on your moral and religious convictions.​—1 Thessalonians 4:​3-5.

  7.   Get help. If the harassment continues, confide in a trusted friend, family member, or coworker or in someone experienced in helping victims. (Proverbs 27:9) Many victims of sexual harassment have found support through prayer. Even if you haven’t prayed before, don’t underestimate the help you can receive from Jehovah, “the God of all comfort.”​—2 Corinthians 1:3.

 Sexual harassment creates a hostile work environment for millions, but the Bible can help.