Sexual Harassment: Get Support

What Is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment are unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, or other verbal, visual, or physical conduct of a sexual nature in which submission to or rejection of such conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's work or school performance. Sexual Harassment may create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or school environment .

Sexual harassment can include the following behaviors:

  • Sex-specific derogatory names, i.e, calling a woman slut or whore
  • Spreading sexual rumors
  • Rating people on sexual activity or performance
  • Disseminating compromising photographs or videos of a student
  • Circulating, showing, or creating emails or websites of a sexual nature
  • Demanding hugs
  • Invading personal space
  • Making unnecessary physical contact, including unwanted touching
  • Leering or inappropriate staring

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment."

    Sexual Harassment in an Academic Setting

    Sexual harassment is associated with the following situations:

    • A student harassing another student or students
    • A professor or staff member harassing a student
    • A student harassing a professor or staff member

    In academic settings, sexual harassment often encompasses an unequal power dynamic, where one person is in a position of power, such as a club leader, professor, teaching assistant, or advisor.

    Types of Harassment

    There are two main types of harassment in workplace or academic settings:

    • Quid pro quo, or "this for that": when sexual favors or requests are made on the condition of one’s employment or academic career
    • Hostile environment: when the harassment is severe or pervasive enough to create an environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive

    Other Things to Consider:

    You may choose to visit the Sexual Violence Response and Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center to enlist confidential support around:

    • Reporting rights:
    • On-campus accommodations (Housing, Academic, Financial)
    • On- and off-campus referrals (mental health, follow up care, healing support)
    • Safety planning
    • Assistance drafting a victim impact statement
    • Court advocacy or assistance obtaining legal representation
    • Remembering it's not your fault
    • Identifying a friend or other support person to be by your side
    • Learning how to discuss the incident with family members

    Support Services:

    9 to 5: National Association of Working Women

    • 1-800-522-0925

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

    • 1-800-669-4000

    Equal Rights Advocates

    • 415-621-0672
    • 1-800-839-4372
    • 24-hour line: 415-621-0505

    National Bar Association, Women Lawyers Division

    • 202-842-3900

    National Center for Victims of Crime

    • 1-800-FYI-CALL
    • 202-467-8700

    National Women's Law Center

    • 202-588-5180

    U.S. Department of Labor Women's Bureau

    • 1-800-827-5335

    Women Employed-IL

    • 312-782-3902

    Women's Law Project-PA

    • 215-928-9801

    Websites for Cyber Sexual Harassment and “Revenge Porn”