Sexual harassment can profoundly affect a victim’s health, both immediately and in the long term.
In a recent report on KQED, a woman recounts her harrowing experience at a financial institution nearly 25 years ago, and its lasting impact on her career, health and personal life.
Stanford’s David Spiegel, MD, provides a medical interpretation, explaining how the body reacts to a threat, such as an inappropriate remark or touch, and how the stress of prolonged workplace harassment can take its toll. He explains:
The emotional part of the brain is hijacking the rest of the brain for a while because you’re having such a strong reaction.
It becomes this sort of non-reversing cycle of feeling worse about yourself, doing things that make you physically worse and restrict your other options in life.
Photo by Kaz