Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Definitions:
The actual or threatened physical intrusion of a sexual nature, whether by force or under unequal or coercive conditions. It covers sexual offences including but not limited to: attempted rape (which includes attempts to force someone to perform oral sex); and sexual assault (which includes non-consensual kissing and touching). All sexual activity with someone under the age of consent is considered to be sexual abuse.
Any actual or attempted abuse of a position of vulnerability, differential power, or trust for sexual purposes. It includes profiting monetarily, socially, or politically from sexual exploitation of another.
A person sexually harasses another person if the person makes an unwelcome sexual advance or an unwelcome request for sexual favours, or engages in other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature, in circumstances in which a reasonable person, having regard to all the circumstances, would have anticipated the possibility that the person harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual harassment can take various forms. It can be obvious or indirect, physical or verbal, repeated or one-off and perpetrated by any person of any gender towards any person of any gender. Sexual harassment can be perpetrated against beneficiaries, community members, citizens, as well as staff and personnel. Some examples of behaviour that may be sexual harassment include:
- staring or leering
- unnecessary familiarity, such as unwelcome affection or touching
- suggestive comments or jokes
- insults or taunts of a sexual nature
- intrusive questions or statements about your 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 and
- 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.
Who is at risk?
SEAH occurs across all sectors, regions and workplaces. The risk of SEAH is exacerbated where unequal power dynamics, gender inequality and transactional pressures exist. Data indicates SEAH is experienced disproportionately by females and the majority of perpetrators are male. There are many factors that heighten the likelihood of SEAH such as gender, age, disability, language, displacement, health and poverty.