What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is any unwelcome or unwanted sexual advance, request for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, which makes a person feel offended, humiliated and/or intimidated. Sexual harassment can be obvious or indirect, physical or verbal, repeated or one-off, and perpetrated by males and females against people of the same or opposite sex.
Sexual harassment may occur:
- as a single incident or series of incidents
- between Students, between Employees, Employees and Students, Employees and community members, community members and Students or community members and Employees
- either as an individual harassing another individual or group, or as a group harassing an individual or group.
Forms of sexual harassment
Sexual harassment may include:
- staring or leering
- unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person, or unwelcome touching
- suggestive comments or jokes
- insults or taunts of a sexual nature
- intrusive questions or statements about a person’s private life
- displaying posters, magazines or screen-savers of a sexual nature
- sending sexually explicit emails or text messages
- inappropriate advances on social networking sites
- accessing sexually explicit internet sites
- requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates
- behaviour that may also be considered to be an offence under criminal law, such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, stalking or obscene communications
- cyber harassment.
Sexual harassment is not behaviour which is based on mutual attraction, friendship and respect. If the interaction is consensual, welcome and reciprocated it is not sexual harassment.