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How to Protect Yourself from Abusive Situations in the Office

There are certain jobs that can be difficult to have, as people experience certain forms of abuse from others on a daily basis. Some good examples of these careers include nurses and police officers.

Although professionals in these posts are there to serve the community and make society a better place by helping individuals, they likely receive abuse from those they are dealing with. Employees often expect this and become desensitized.

How to Protect Yourself from Abusive Situations in the Office

There are also cases where employees have more ‘normal’ jobs and they are harassed by colleagues and their bosses. This is a very difficult position to be in and can have a negative impact on every aspect of your life at work as well as personally.

In this article, we will advise you on how to protect yourself from abusive situations while you’re working in the office.

Recognize Abuse in the Workplace

One of the most important things to do to protect yourself from abuse is to recognize what abuse is.

Victims of abuse often are not aware that they are being abused, which leads them to stay in the same abusive situation for long periods of time. When we think about abuse, we may simply think about physical assault, although there are many different forms of abuse.

In the workplace, this abuse is more likely to take place in its mental form, which is not as easily identifiable. Some examples of mental abuse in the workplace include angry rants, a manager or colleague shouting and swearing at you when others are present, sabotaging work, stealing the credit for work you have done, or making belittling comments about you or someone else.

Recognizing these signs is imperative so that you can take action if you find yourself in this position.

Be Assertive

When it comes to abuse, no matter what type and whether it is at home or work, there is a perception that it only happens to weak people who are not able to stand up for themselves.

It is wrong to have this perception, as abuse can happen to anyone. Abuse is not about the victim, but about the perpetrator – abusers will try to abuse anyone that comes in their path. However, if you experience abuse and do nothing about it, the abuse will be much more likely to continue.

Be assertive, know your boundaries and be strict with it. Being assertive can be very difficult for most people as human beings usually care deeply about what others think of them and they always want to be seen in a positive light.

As long as you know your worth and understand that no one should be talking to you in a negative way, regardless of the situation, your ability to assert yourself will come naturally.

Know Your Rights

We all have rights as human beings and as employees – these are legally binding and your employer should ensure they comply with these laws.

Some of the legal rights you have as an employee include the right to being paid at least the minimum wage as designated by your government; to be allowed to work extra shifts as long as you are paid accordingly and do not exceed the weekly limit of hours worked per week; as well as the right to not be harassed or discriminated against.

The experts at suggest that consulting with an employment and consumer law attorney is a smart move so that you know what your rights as an employee are.

If you are in doubt, you should consult with a professional as they may review your case and advise you on what steps to take to protect yourself from a potentially abusive situation.

Speak Up

If you recognize that you are being mistreated at work, you must report this, whether the issues involve a client or a colleague. If this is the case, you should go to your line manager, as they should be your first point of contact for any issues you have at work.

The job of your line manager is to ensure that you are well and that you are being provided with a positive work environment and that your rights are being met. If your issue is with a manager, the situation can be more stressful as they are deemed to have power over you.

However, do not let this get to you and make sure that you go above their head and until your situation is resolved.

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Being a victim of abuse is never okay and can have severe negative impacts on your mental well-being.

If you are experiencing this at work, make sure to follow the tips above so that you can protect yourself from abusive situations while you’re working in the office.


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