WHAT IS SEXUAL HARASSMENT?
Sexual Harassment is any form of unwanted sexual advance, and can include physical, verbal or non-verbal behaviour. The scope of behaviours that constitute sexual harassment are vast and range on a continuum from offensive gestures to rape. The whole issue of sexual harassment raises the subject of gender equality, and human rights. But more than these issues, it elicits thought about respect and tolerance. Sex related crimes are not merely sexual acts; they are acts of violence that communicate dominance and the need for power.
WHAT S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND FLIRTING?
| The recipient feels the experience as:|
|Powerless ||In control|
|Power based ||Equitable|
|Unacceptable Touching ||Acceptable Touching|
VICTIMS OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT:
The victim can be a male or female, of the same or opposite sex. The victim can also be anyone affected by the offensive behaviour. The victim and the alleged harasser may be peers, or the harasser may be someone in a more powerful position for example, student - lecturer or subordinate-boss situation.
WHO ARE THE HARASSERS?
The harasser can be male or female, of the same or opposite sex. He or she can be
the victim s superior, employer, lecturer, peer, stranger, acquaintance or even a
DO YOU THINK YOU MAY BE HARASSING SOMEONE?
If so, ask yourself these three questions:
? Would I engage in this behaviour if other people were present?
? Is this behaviour something I would want someone else to say or do to me, or someone I care about?
? Would I want this behaviour or statement(s) made public?
If you are not sure about your behaviour, don t be afraid to seek advice.
WHAT ACTION SHOULD YOU TAKE?
? The first course of action is to tell the harasser to stop. Tell the harasser firmly and assertively that the behaviour is unwelcome.
? Keep a written record of all the incidents of sexual harassment, describing the incident(s), the type of behaviour(s), the dates, times, places and any witnesses who may have seen or heard the incident(s). These records must be kept strictly
confidential. They are helpful in proving the harassment, if necessary in the future.
? Also keep any evidence, for example notes left by the harasser.
? Seek advice and support.
There is a general climate of tolerance of sexual abuse, and until this tolerance is minimized, we will continue to hold the degrading label of ?rape capital of the world?. Sexual Harassment is a violation of rights and human dignity. Stand up for your rights and assert yourself by reporting offensive behaviour.
All complaints will be treated with respect and taken seriously, whether it is a rape or a verbal insult. Although there is no absolute protection from sexual harassment there are some precautions one can take in order to reduce the risk of being assaulted:
? When walking alone, especially at night or in unfamiliar places, walk with a sense of purpose and in an assertive manner.
? Be vigilant of your surroundings and potentially unsafe situations.
? Avoid walking alone at night.
? If you feel unsafe at any time, or if you think you will be walking alone you can arrange for Campus Control to escort you to your car/room. Contact them at Central Block1 or 7174444/76666 (all hours).
? If an incident has occured at a Residence, or if there is a potential for an incident to occur, contact the Hall Coordinator and/or House Committee and/or Campus Control.
All matters of sexual harassment should also be reported to the Sexual Harassment Advisor. Remember that sexual assault may still happen even though one may
have taken all possible precautions. It is never the fault of the survivor. No one asks or deserves to be sexually harassed.
IF A COMPLAINT IS LAID THESE ARE THE OPTIONS:
The process will be driven/guided by the needs and wishes of the complainant.
S/he may choose:
? not to pursue any process involving the alleged harasser
? to participate in counselling
? to follow a process of mediation
? to lay a formal internal complaint, resulting in a formal grievance and/or disciplinary process
ARE YOU PART OF THE SOLUTION?
It is never okay to have sex with someone if you do not have consent, even when:
? your partner teases you or leads you on.
? dresses provocatively
? says ?no? and you think she/he means ?yes?
? the two of you have had consensual sex before
? you?ve paid for your dinners or given your partner expensive gifts
? you think some people enjoy forced or ?rough? sex, or want to be ?persuaded?
? your partner is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
If you?re getting double messages from a date, speak up and clarify what she/he
wants. If you find yourself in a situation with someone who is unsure about having sex, or who is saying ?no,? back off. Ambivalence is not consent.
Be sensitive to partners who are unsure whether they want to have sex. If you apply either emotional or verbal pressure, they may feel they are being forced. Do not assume you both want the same degree of intimacy. Your partner may be interested in some sexual contact other than intercourse. There may be several kinds of sexual activity you might mutually agree to share. If you have any doubts as to what your partner desires, STOP, ASK, CLARIFY!!
Don?t assume your partner?s desire for affection is the same as a desire for sexual activity. If your partner turns you down for sex, it doesn?t automatically mean that you?re being rejected as a person or even for future dates. Your partner has simply
decided not to participate in sex at that particular time.
No matter how your date or partner behaves, nobody deserves to have her/his body used unwillingly. ?No? really does mean ?no.? This may seem obvious, but if you don?t respect that simple word (even if you aren?t convinced), you may be committing a crime. Having sex with someone who is mentally or physically incapable of giving consent (drunk, stoned, developmentally disabled, etc.) is sexual assault or rape. If someone has had too much to drink and has passed out, or isn?t in control of her/himself, call for help, don?t have sex with that person. Intoxication at the time of an alleged assault is no defense for rape. You are responsible for your actions, whether or not you were sober, just as if you were drunk and hit someone with a car.
ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF CONSENT:
1. Both parties are fully conscious.
2. All parties may stop the activity without fear of humiliation, anger, retaliation or rejection.
3. All intentions have been communicated clearly.
4. The initiator of the sexual activity has received either a verbal or very explicit physical ?yes? (for example, she gets the condom and puts it on you).
DON?T BE A BYSTANDER!
Support your friends who are victims - both female and male - by being nonjudgemental. Recovery may take a lifetime in some cases. Remember that the abusive behaviour of a few people impact the reputation of the entire group, and that it?s up to those who recognise the behaviour to make their peers stop it non-violently.