Sexual Harassment

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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. Sexual harassment may occur in a variety of circumstances-in workplaces as varied as factories, school, academia etc. Often, but not always, the perpetrator is in a position of power or authority over the victim (due to differences in age, or social, political, educational or employment relationships) or expecting to receive such power or authority in form of promotion.

Forms of harassment relationships include:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. The place of harassment occurrence may vary from school, university, workplace and other.
  4. There may or may not be other witnesses or attendances.
  5. 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.
  6. The incident can take place in situations in which the harassed person may not be aware of or understand what is happening.
  7. The incident may be one time occurrence but more often it has a type of repetitiveness.
  8. Adverse effects on the target are common in the form of stress and social withdrawal, sleep and eating difficulties, overall health impairment, etc.
  9. The victim and perpetrator can be any gender.
  10. 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.

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