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Sexual harassment

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.