What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is unwanted and unwelcome behavior, or attention, of a sexual nature that interferes with your life. Sexual advances, forced sexual activity, statements about sexual orientation or sexuality, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature all constitute sexual harassment. The behavior may be direct or implied. Sexual harassment can affect an individual's work or school performance, and can create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
Sexual harassment can occur in a number of ways, such as:
- The victim as well as the harasser can be either male, or female. The harasser does not have to be of the opposite sex.
- The harasser can be anyone: the victim's supervisor, a client, a co-worker, a teacher or professor, a schoolmate, a stranger, even a family member.
- The harasser's behavior must be unwelcome.
- The victim does not have to be the person directly harassed but can be anyone who finds the behavior offensive and is affected by it.
- While adverse effects on the victim are common, this does not have to be the case for the behavior to be unlawful.
- The harasser may be completely unaware that their behavior is offensive or constitutes sexual harassment, or they may be completely unaware that their actions could be unlawful.
Anyone in the UNH community can get help at SHARPP by visiting us during our office hours (Monday - Friday), calling our 24/7 Helpline (603) 862- SAFE or using our Ask an Advocate online service.
If you're unsure whether a certain type of behavior is sexual harassment or want more information, contact SHARPP for confidential and free support. We can assist students, faculty and staff who have been sexually harassed. Our services include support, information and referrals.
- UNH Affirmative Action and Equity Office
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