AbleToTrain by Willing & Able

What is sexual harassment?

Legal definition

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Section VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964.

Unwanted sexual harassment, requests for sexual desire, and other verbal or physical acts of a sexual nature.

Sexual harassment occurs when the acknowledgment or denial of such behavior clearly affects a person’s employment, unreasonable interference in a person’s life, performance of work. Or create an intimidating, hostile, or aggressive work environment.

Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances. Here are some of the examples:

  • The victim or abuser can be a woman or a man. It is not necessary to be of the opposite sex.

  • The attacker can be the victim’s supervisor, the employer’s representative, a supervisor in another area, an employee or a non-employee.

  • The victim does not have to be the harasser, but can be anyone affected by the abusive behavior.

  • Unlawful sexual harassment can occur without economic harm or separation of the victim.

  • The harassing behavior must be unwanted.

  • The hallmark of sexual harassment is that it is unwanted. It is important to make it clear to the offender that some actions are not welcome.

Types of Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment (most common):

  • General sexual statements and behaviors that convey degrading or degrading attitudes toward women or men. Examples: offensive comments, dirty jokes or humor about sex, etc.

  • Instinctive Behavior: Unwanted, Inappropriate, and Despised Sexual Temptation. Examples include repeated and unwanted sex invitations.

  • Date/dinner/urgent requests for drinks;

  • Frequent mails, phone calls etc.

  • Sexual resistance: Confirmation of sexual activity or other sex-related behavior through the promise of a reward; the proposal can be open or subtle.

  • Sexual coercion: coercion to engage in sexual activity or other sexual behavior under threat of punishment; Examples include negative job reviews, retaining a promotion, threats of being fired.

  • Sex instruction: Coarse sexual imposition (such as touching, smelling, grabbing) or sexual assault/beating.

Any undesirable behavior the following could be sexual harassment:

  • Sexual exploitation stories

  • Sexual gestures

  • Whistles

  • Dating mediums

  • Unwanted touches / hugs

  • Discussions about one’s partner

  • `Accidentally` brush sexual body parts

  • Body notes women / men

  • Sexual jokes / cartoons

  • Embarrassing and Obscene Phone Letters

  • Obscene Phone Letters

  • Pornography Public Letters/Displaying Pornography

  • Inappropriate Invitations

  • Women / Men Sabotage Jobs

  • Abuse

  • Sexual Prostitution

  • Revealing Clothes

  • Gifts that are not appropriate

  • Oppression or rubbing

  • Animal sounds etc.

Reactions / Effects:

Sexual harassment can affect mental health. Physical well-being and career development

Reactions of a person being harassed may include:

Physiological reactions

  • Headaches

  • Gastrointestinal disorders

  • Sleep disorders, nightmares

  • Drowsiness

  • Dermatological reactions

  • Weight fluctuation

  • Phobias

  • Depression

  • Anxiety

  • Shock

  • Denial

  • Confusion

  • Feelings of helplessness

  • Anger

  • Fear

  • Frustration

  • Irritability

  • Shame

  • Self-consciousness

  • Low self-esteem

  • Insecurity

  • Shame

  • Feelings of betrayal

  • Guilt

  • Self-blame

  • Isolation

Career related effects

  • Decreased job satisfaction

  • Absenteeism

  • Poor school performance

  • Loss of Job or Promotion

  • Change in Career Education Goals

  • Reduced performance in study

How to protect yourself

  • Hold the attacker accountable for his actions.

  • Don’t make excuses for harassment, and don’t pretend it didn’t happen.

  • Control the meeting and tell people what the harasser is doing. Privacy protects abusers, but visibility weakens them.

  • Make honest and direct statements. Tell the truth (no intimidation, no disrespect, no vulgarity). Be serious, direct and frank.

  • Call for an end to harassment. Explain that everyone has the right to be free from sexual harassment.

  • Countering harassment is a matter of principle.

  • Stick to your own schedule. Don’t respond to stalkers’ excuses or distraction tactics.

  • Persecutor behavior problem. Say what you want to say and repeat it if the behavior continues.

  • Collect your statements with a strong self-respecting body language: eye contact, head, shoulders back, strong and dangerous posture. Do not laugh. Shy and unassuming body language will undermine your message.

  • Answer at the appropriate level. Use a combined verbal and physical response to physical harassment.