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Harassment and Mental Health



General definition of harassment: Aggressive pressure or intimidation

Reason vary as to why most people don’t say anything about being harassed, usually they’re afraid of retaliation. The bible makes reference to the terms ‘harass’ and ‘harassing’ but most frequently the term ‘hurtful scheme’ is used to denote harassment. The impact on an individual’s mental health can be devastating and paralyzing to their natural alertness. i.e.;

  • Denial, confusion, self-doubt, frustration, guilt, embarrassment, self-blame.
  • Apprehension, fear, anxiety about safety self/others/pets.
  • Isolated, helpless, panic attacks, agoraphobia.
  • Depression and stress (or symptoms related to those conditions).
  • Poor concentration, memory..
  • Suicidal or homicidal thoughts.
  • Hyper vigilance, easily frightened, foreboding.
  • Changes in personality e.g. withdrawn, angry, irritable, short tempered.
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).


Bully Harassment

One of the issues that many of us deal with while growing up is bullying harassment. Bullying is unwanted behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated over time with the intent to cause harm. Bullying behavior may include: making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and deliberately excluding someone from a group. Bullying harassment is common, but that does not mean that it should be acceptable. It is a good idea to teach your children ways to avoid bullies, and also to teach them to treat others with respect. Regardless of where the behavior started or who started the conflict, it is behavior that no one wants to have as a “norm” in our schools. Thus, addressing incidents of bullying and harassment proactively and/or re actively, immediately and effectively, is crucial in transforming these kinds of behaviors into more positive behaviors in our schools. Indeed, it is possible for some who have been harassed to become bullies themselves in some situations.


Here is a list of a few types of harassment:

  1. Race
  2. Religion
  3. Sex
  4. National Origin

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits harassment on the basis of race, religion, sex, and national origin.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality. Each of you should learn to control your own body in a way that is holy and honorable. Not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister. The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins. As we told you and warned you before. For God did not call us to be impure. But to live a holy life. Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

Harassment is also illegal

If someone is abusing, insulting, or otherwise harming you on a regular basis, it’s called harassment. Cruel and usually really annoying, harassment is also illegal in some cases. Harassment is a word that describes any kind of ongoing torment. At school, harassment is often known as bullying.

Many people may believe that sexual harassment is the one and only type of harassment that can happen. In reality, sexual harassment is perhaps one of the most common forms of harassing behavior, but it is by far not the only one. In fact, many states and local governments have very specific anti-discrimination laws that also contain provisions that prohibit harassment for what are sometimes very unique classes of individuals. Sexual harassment does not refer to occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature. It refers to behavior that is not welcome, is personally offensive, debilitates morale, and therefore, interferes with work effectiveness. The following are examples of behavior that, when unwelcome, may constitute sexual harassment: sexual flirtations, advances, or propositions; verbal comments or physical actions of a sexual nature; sexually degrading words used to describe an individual; a display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; sexually explicit jokes; unnecessary touching.

Harassment prohibits speech or action which is severe or pervasive enough to create a “hostile or abusive work environment.”

Matthew 5:38-48 

“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Luke 3:14

Do not harass anybody or accuse anybody falsely. You should be satisfied with your provisions.


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