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Virtual Reality Training for Sexual Harassment

May 10th, 2018

Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers advocate for the use of virtual reality training to help provide a sexual harassment-free work-place.Employers are under an obligation to provide a harassment free work-place. To that end, many provide periodic training in defining what behaviors are inappropriate, as well as providing an avenue for raising issues with management.  However, not only does workplace sexual harassment continue to occur, it is extensive.

We still need to learn to recognize warning signs before a situation escalates and how to be a friend to colleagues. Part of the problem in existing training may be that it does not adequately explain sexual harassment and appropriate responses.  That may now be changing thanks to a new technological approach.

A Workplace Scenario

A woman sits quietly at work after hours. Her boss enters the room, commenting on how he is impressed with her dedication and work. He then says he wants to take her to an upcoming trip to New York. She says that her sister lives there and that she will stay with her sister. The boss responds that will not be feasible. Something about the way he is behaving is unsettling. In this scenario, you are a nearby bystander observing the interaction. What should you do?

This is one of the scenes that users of Vantage Point can experience in an immersive approach to teaching people how to identify and respond to sexual harassment in the workplace. The system uses 360-degree virtual reality technology. The class involves living through the experiences from the perspective of those involved, including the boss, employee, and bystander.

The training also includes pop quizzes sent on a phone while the experience is ongoing. It tests whether the participants can identify sexual harassment as it unfolds and how they will respond. What is different about this training is that it is experienced rather than watched in a classroom or on a PC monitor, it includes bystanders, and testing is performed during the role play.

Recognizing and Responding to Sexual Harassment

Vantage Point is a virtual reality company that considers contextual and hard-to-detect nuances of common sexual harassment situations. The creator of Vantage Point, Morgan Mercer, has been sexually harassed twice and those experiences informed her choices in developing the training scenarios. The team has developed immersive modules to closely replicate the stimuli of the real-world environment. This form of training is expected to enable better understanding and retention of information on sexual harassment.

Mercer believes it is important to teach the methods used by sexual abusers that can be subtle and powerful. Among these is grooming, where an abuser first builds trust with the victim. The victim may not be aware of the manipulation, but a bystander may recognize something is off. There are no easy calls in the training. The goal of the virtual reality training is to help with the difficultly of responding to sexual harassment scenarios.

Philadelphia Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Represent Victims of Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Philadelphia sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C., represents victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. We will analyze a workplace situation and help determine if you have a case as a victim of sexual harassment. We are happy to stand with you and defend your case to the best of our ability. If you believe you are a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace, do not hesitate. Call us for a free consultation at 215-569-1999 or contact us online. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas.

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