- What is it
–Sexual harassment- these are unwelcome behaviours of a sexual nature or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature such as referring to an adult person as sweetie, honey, babes, doll etc.
–Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, it can include offensive remarks about a person’s sex.
– Sexual harassment includes:
a) Actual or attempted rape or sexual assault
b) Unwanted pressure for sexual favours
c) Sexual comments
d) Kissing sounds, howling and smacking lips
e) Hugging a person without consent, platting or stroking of ones’ hair
f) Touching or rubbing oneself sexually around another person
An example of sexual harassment is when a young man whistles and taunts at a young lady passing by in the street or corridor or anywhere unnecessarily.
- Where to get help
–Seek assistance from Faculty representatives or other relevant authorities if you are at University, College and schools.
–If employed, take the matter to the Human Resources department after understanding the sexual harassment policy if it is present.
–One can assist oneself through confronting the perpetrator and asking them to STOP or face impending consequences.
- Why you should report
Sexual harassment cases are oftentimes not reported due to the fear of retribution by teachers, lecturers, superiors and corporate executives. However, it is a serious offence and must be reported for the sake of following reasons;
–To protect yourself from unwelcomed and unwanted sexual behaviours.
–To protect others and raise awareness on the negative effects of sexual harassment.
–To ensure that perpetrators of sexual harassment are held accountable for their unsanctioned actions.
–To break the cycle and silence of sexual harassment such that it may be eradicated as it is an entrenched practice that needs to be uprooted.