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How sexual harassment can hurt victims’ health

In a recent report on KQED, Stanford’s David Spiegel explains how a victim's health can be affected by sexual harassment in the short and long term.

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

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