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What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment is bullying or coercion of a sexual nature, or the unwelcome or inappropriate promise of rewards in exchange for sexual favors. In most modern legal contexts, sexual harassment is illegal.
• Webster’s Dictionary: uninvited and unwelcome verbal or physical behavior of a sexual nature especially by a person in authority toward a subordinate (such as an employee or student). Sexual advances, favors, and/or verbal or physical conduct of sexual nature.

A form of gender violence which is now defined as sexual harassment.

• “Before sexual harassment was given a name women just called it “life”.
• Lyn Farley’s 1978 book, Sexual Shakedown, introduced the term.

Inappropriate Behavior

There are so many inappropriate behavior such as:
• Sexual comments or jokes.
• Sexual phone calls.
• Sexual stories.
• Sexual looks/gestures.
• Explicit videos, pictures, calendars, screen savers, websites.
• Unwelcome flirting.
• Insisting on dates.

Situations

• The perpetrator can be anyone, such as a client, a co-worker, a parent or legal guardian, relative, a teacher or professor, a student, a friend, or a stranger.
• The victim does not have to be the person directly harassed but can be a witness of such behavior who finds the behavior offensive and is affected by it.
• The place of harassment occurrence may vary from school, university, workplace and other.
• There may or may not be other witnesses or attendances.
• The perpetrator may be completely unaware that his or her behavior is offensive or constitutes sexual harassment or may be completely unaware that his or her actions could be unlawful. • The incident can take place in situations in which the harassed person may not be aware of or understand what is happening.
• The incident may be one time occurrence but more often it has a type of repetitiveness.
• Adverse effects on the target are common in the form of stress and social withdrawal, sleep and eating difficulties, overall health impairment, etc.
• The victim and perpetrator can be any gender.
• The perpetrator does not have to be of the opposite sex.
• The incident can result from a situation in which the perpetrator thinks they are making themselves clear, but is not understood the way they intended. The misunderstanding can either be reasonable or unreasonable. An example of unreasonable is when a woman holds a certain stereotypical view of a man such that she did not understand the man’s explicit message to stop.

In the workplace

Sexual harassment is rampant extremely widespread. It touches the lives of 40 to 60 percent of working women, and similar proportions of female students in colleges and universities




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