sexual harassment is a behavior characterized by the making of unwelcome and inappropriate sexual remarks or physical advances in a workplace or other professional or social situation.
Sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances. The harasser can identify with any gender and have any relationship to the victim, including being a direct manager, indirect supervisor, coworker, teacher, peer, or colleague.
Some forms of sexual harassment include:
1 Making conditions of employment or advancement dependent on sexual favors, either explicitly or implicitly.
2 Physical acts of sexual assault. Requests for sexual favors.
3 Verbal harassment of a sexual nature, including jokes referring to sexual acts or sexual orientation.
4 Unwanted touching or physical contact.
5 Unwelcome sexual advances.
6 Discussing sexual relations/stories/fantasies at work, school, or in 10other inappropriate places.
7 Feeling pressured to engage with someone sexually.
8 Exposing oneself or performing sexual acts on oneself.
9 Unwanted sexually explicit photos, emails, or text messages.
Sexual harassment can occur in the workplace or learning environment, like a school or university. It can happen in many different scenarios, including after-hours conversations, exchanges in the hallways, and non-office settings of employees or peers.
You may have heard the term bystander intervention to describe stepping in to help if you see someone who might be in danger or at risk for sexual assault. Bystander intervention can also be a helpful strategy if you witness sexual harassment. You don’t have to be a hero to make a positive impact in someone’s life, and you can intervene in a way that fits your comfort level and is appropriate for the situation. If you choose to step in, you may be able to give the person being harassed a chance to get to a safe place or leave the situation. Below are some of the steps you can take if you see someone being sexually harassed just remember to care and of course, keep your own safety in mind at all times.
Create a distraction. Do what you can to interrupt the harassment, or distract those taking part in the harassment. But remember to make sure that you aren’t putting yourself in danger by doing this. If someone seems like they could become violent, do not draw their attention.
Ask directly. Talk directly with the person who is being harassed. If they are being harassed at work or school, offer to accompany them anytime they have to meet with the harasser. If a friend is worried about walking alone to their car at night, offer to walk with them.
Refer to an authority. The safest way to intervene for both you and the person being harassed may be to bring in an authority figure. You can talk to another employee, security guard, RA in your dorm, bartender, or bouncer, and they will often be willing to step in.
Enlist others. It can be hard to step in alone, especially if you are worried about your own safety or if you don’t think you will be able to help on your own. It may be a good idea to enlist the help of a friend or another bystander.