What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwanted and unwelcome words, conduct, or behaviour of a sexual nature that has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, embarrassing, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the recipient.

Sexual Harassment can include but is not limited to unwanted pressure for sexual favours, catcalling, following, making unnecessary and unwanted physical contact, sexual jokes and comments, giving unwelcome personal gifts, wolf-whistling, leering, derogatory comments, unwelcome comments about a person’s body or clothing, asking unwelcome questions about a person’s sex life and/or sexuality, engaging in unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations and flirtation, making somebody feel uncomfortable through displaying or sharing sexual material. Sexual harassment does not necessarily occur face to face and can be in the form of emails, visual images (such as sexually explicit pictures on walls in a shared environment), social media, telephone, text messages and image based sexual abuse such as revenge porn and “upskirting”.

Sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is when someone behaves in a way which makes you feel distressed, intimidated or offended and the behaviour is of a sexual nature. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010. Sexual harassment is not okay and has no place in the University community.

If you feel you are the subject of sexual harassment or are worried about someone else then you can talk in confidence to a University Welfare Adviser. To arrange an appointment you can email wellbeing@yorksj.ac.u or call 01904 876477 or ask for Welfare at the Student Information Desk in the Holgate Student Centre. If the sexual harassment is coming from a student group e.g. a student union approved club or society please also alert the Student Union to your concerns.

 

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