Sexual harassment in the workplace is extremely complicated and is most certainly against the law. If you are in a working environment you have the right to work free of any form of harassment from your co-workers or clients, whether they are junior or senior to you. This type of harassment is particularly debilitating because the harasser focuses on your sexual attributes at the expense of your work ability, and can make you feel like you are not worth anything more than your body. This is never the case. If you feel like you are being harassed or abused at the workplace there are some routes that you can follow to protect yourself.
First assess whether your company has any policies in place that cover sexual harassment in the workplace. If they do, then report the matter to the relevant people. If you feel uncomfortable reporting the matter internally there is always the potential to seek the advice and possible legal assistance of a lawyer. South Africa has a number of free or affordable legal help centres across the country, so you need not weigh up your finances against your interests. If you are not sure how to find out about legal firms in your area, then a simple Internet search can steer you in the right direction.
Sexual harassment can affect your work environment by making you feel too uncomfortable to continue your daily tasks. This impacts on your own ability to perform, and by allowing the harassment to continue you give your harasser power over you. You should never feel ashamed or embarrassed to report sexual harassment. It is never your fault and you can never deserve it. It is also important to report it in case your harasser becomes physically or sexually abusive. If you want to remain anonymous, look online for places to get help for sexual harassment in the workplace.