It can be a traumatic and stressful experience to be embroiled in a series of harassments. Aside from the constant fear and uncertainty that you are put through, there may be serious risks in relation to your personal safety and professional reputation.
Traditionally, the understanding of the term “Harassment” is an annoyance in the form of a threat or verbal abuse, or unlawful stalking. However, it appears that harassment has taken a new form in recent times. For example, in our current digital age, there is an emerging trend of online harassment cases.
That said, each type of harassment carries its own risks. In relation to verbal abuse or unlawful stalking, there are serious consequences if the harasser chooses to escalate the behaviour and cause actual harm to you or your loved ones. On the other hand, the dangers of online harassment lie in the vastness of the internet and the difficulties in removing materials that have been posted onto a global platform.
Regardless of the mode in which the harassing acts are carried out, there are practical considerations that you ought to know in order to protect yourself and the people around you.
When should I take action?
There are times where ignoring or disregarding the harassing acts will resolve the issue and the harassment will gradually cease. However, more often than not, the harasser commits these actions with the objective of eliciting a reaction and will persist until it is achieved.
However, it may be difficult to determine with certainty just what a harasser’s next move will be. Thus, it is prudent and safer to err on the side of caution and to take action as soon as possible in order to protect your own interests.
The consequences of not taking action are twofold. Firstly, your acquiescence may be viewed as acceptance of these harassing acts. They may even be emboldened to commit further acts as it is seen as their acts have no consequences. Secondly, the harasser may be dissatisfied that you have not given the reaction that was expected, and as a result, carry out more egregious forms of harassment to provoke you.
While each case depends on its own specific circumstances, there are a few key indicators to take note of when deciding whether or not to take legal action, for example:
- Whether the harasser has escalated his behaviour;
- Whether the harassing acts have caused a serious disruption to your daily life;
- Whether there is an imminent risk to your personal safety or professional reputation.
What actions can be taken?
There are various ways to seek legal recourse, such as
- sending a letter of demand,
- lodging a police report,
- filing a magistrate’s complaint or seeking a protection order under the Protection from Harassment Act (“POHA”).
Being a victim of harassment can in itself create immense stress, but you need not face this situation on your own.
We are here to ensure that you channel your resources in the right direction. You may contact our experienced lawyers to assess the appropriate legal recourse and remedies. Contact our team today for us to help you navigate the difficult journey that you are currently facing.
Read more: Protection From Harassment Act | Remedies