If you’re the victim of sexual harassment or discrimination, activate the protocol!


Today, to celebrate 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we spoke to Agustina Angullo, a psychotherapist who specializes in the prevention and treatment of gender-based violence and supports UOC staff members who activate the Protocol for the prevention, detection, handling and resolution of cases of sexual harassment and harassment on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, and gender
identity and/or expression.

If someone makes offensive sexual remarks towards you, invades your private space, sends you obscene messages, treats you in a derogatory manner because of your sexual orientation or gives you less relevant work due to your gender, or if you feel isolated, rejected or looked down upon at work, don’t hesitate to activate the protocol! We’re here for you.

Angullo, who has eighteen years of experience behind her, specialized in this field of psychology “due to my sensitivity to and interest in the empowerment of women. To help abused women regain their well-being, health and happiness, as well as that of their children who have been the subject of abuse or ill treatment”.

Let’s discuss this in more detail: what type of therapy do you provide if the protocol is activated?

I start off from a therapy model based on therapy for trauma and systems psychology, always from a gender perspective.

The typical consequences of trauma are common in cases of sexual harassment. We can cure the victim from the effects of this trauma, even if they present with severe symptoms. Identifying the relationships between emotion, sensation and cognition helps us understand the processes of trauma and how to cure it. To help someone recover from sexual harassment, you must treat the body and the mind as a single unit.

And how do you provide this support?

This psychotherapy approach model proposes the use of individual therapy because each victim experiences harassment differently, and the aim is to help repair the trauma in accordance with each victim’s needs. I work with their thoughts, affections and emotions on a personal level, identifying the internal and external resources that can help them overcome the traumatic event they have suffered.

What methodology do you use, and with what objectives?

Our main goals are to support the person and help them overcome the traumatic experience to make them feel more secure, give new meaning to their life and enable them to continue pursuing their goals. We do this by focusing on their emotional state after the traumatic event, providing them with cognitive and emotional resources so that they can learn to live with their trauma.

In cases of sexual violence, it’s important to work on the victim’s needs, emphasizing their strengths or internal and external resources, and discrediting irrational myths and ideas. Our therapy plan involves addressing the characteristics of the harassment, identifying emotions, reducing anxiety, identifying and eradicating guilt, expressing the victim’s anger and fear, and working on their low self-esteem and sexuality, in order to make them more assertive and redefine the experience.

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