Speak Up or Stay Private after Sexual Harassment or Assault?

Here's what's happening on the HealthyPlace site this week:

Surviving sexual harassment or sexual assault is very traumatizing. Is it better to talk about it publicly or keep it to yourself? Find out at HealthyPlace

Speak Up or Stay Private after Sexual Harassment or Assault?

In October, powerful movie maker Harvey Weinstein was revealed to be a sexual predator, thus far accused of sexually harassing and/or assaulting more than 80 women. Since then, hundreds of women, and some men, throughout Hollywood and beyond have spoken up against numerous producers, directors, actors, writers, politicians, and more.

Sadly, sexual harassment and assault can happen anywhere. If it were to happen to you (or if it has), how would you handle it?

What are Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault?

Sexual harassment involves someone, man or woman, making unwanted sexual advances or innuendos to another man or woman and implies that there will be negative consequences if the person doesn’t cooperate (

Sexual assault is “a sexual act upon or directed to another which is unwanted and not consented to by the other” (Duhaime’s Law Dictionary). Needless to say, the effects of sexual assault can be devastating.

Should You Speak Out of Keep Quiet?

Some people speak out about sexual harassment and assault. In response to movie powerhouse Weinstein, many people have become publically vocal about harassment and assault they have received, protesting and engaging online in the #MeToo campaign. Some reasons people give for being outspoken:

  • To bring their assailant to justice
  • To feel a sense of empowerment, that they’re not a helpless victim
  • To prevent the harasser from tormenting others

Some people, however, prefer to remain quiet about their ordeal. Their reasons are valid, too:

  • Fear of negative consequences, such as losing their job
  • Fear of being shunned and/or accused of lying
  • A desire to just move on

When it comes to speaking out or not, the right thing to do if you face sexual harassment or assault is what works for you and your situation. With the support of someone you trust, seek legal help and mental health help. Doing so will help you sort things out and decide what is best.

Remember that harassment and assault aren’t your fault. Remember, too, that you don’t have to go on a crusade for all of humanity. Take care of yourself and your own wellbeing.

Related Articles Dealing with Sexual Harassment and Assault

Your Thoughts

Today's Question: Whether you’re someone who speaks out openly about being sexually harassed or sexually assaulted or someone who prefers to remain private, how have your actions affected you? We invite you to participate by sharing your thoughts, experiences, and knowledge on the HealthyPlace Facebook page and on the HealthyPlace Google+ page.

continue story below

From the HealthyPlace Mental Health Blogs

On all our blogs, your comments and observations are welcomed.

Feel free to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of any blog post. And visit the mental health blogs homepage for the latest posts.


From HealthyPlace YouTube Channel

I'm Hannah. I Have Bipolar 2

How to Explain Bipolar Disorder to Others

Have you ever tried explaining bipolar disorder to other people; what it's like? If the person has no experience with it and can't see it, how are they supposed to get it? So it's a real challenge. (Watch Hannah)


Most Popular HealthyPlace Articles Shared by Facebook Fans

Here are the top 3 mental health articles HealthyPlace Facebook fans are recommending you read:

  1. Learn Habits to Reduce ADHD Symptom-Related Problems
  2. Weight Gain Caused By Medication for Schizophrenia
  3. How to Stay Calm, Anxiety-Free, in a Crisis

If you're not already, I hope you'll join us/like us on Facebook too. There are a lot of wonderful, supportive people there.


Mental Health Quote

" I will breathe. I will think of solutions, I will not let my worry control me. I will not let my stress level break me. I will simply breathe. And it will be okay. Because I don't quit."

Read more anxiety quotes.


That's it for now. If you know of anyone who can benefit from this newsletter or the site, I hope you'll pass this onto them. You can also share the newsletter on any social network (like facebook, stumbleupon, or google+) you belong to by clicking the links below. For updates throughout the week, circle HealthyPlace on Google+, follow HealthyPlace on Twitter or become a fan of HealthyPlace on Facebook. Also, check out HealthyPlace on Pinterest and share your mental health pins on our Share Your Mental Health Experiences board.

back to: Mental-Health Newsletter Index


APA Reference
Peterson, T. (2017, November 13). Speak Up or Stay Private after Sexual Harassment or Assault?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Last Updated: November 15, 2017

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

More Info