Committee Against Sexual Harassment - Examples of Sexual Harassment

Examples of Sexual Harassment

9) Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favours and other conduct of a sexual nature including physical acts and verbal comments as a result of which a reasonable person would anticipate that the subject of attention would be offended, humiliated or intimidated. Any sex-related language, action or physical contact that is unwelcome may constitute sexual harassment. An intimidating, hostile or offensive working or learning environment will also constitute sexual harassment. Sexual harassment can be through spoken words, emails, letters, phone calls, or the like. Sexual harassment does not have to be intentional or aimed at any particular subject and may be explicit or implicit. Sexual harassment may occur between persons of the same sex or opposite sex. A single incident may be sufficient to constitute sexual harassment.

10) The following behaviour is illustrative of, but not limited to, what may be regarded as sexual harassment: 

  a) Unwelcome sexual advances – e.g., persistent requests for dates, leering or lewd gestures, touching, grabbing or deliberately brushing up against another person;

  b) Unwelcome requests for sexual favours (Misuse of authority) – e.g., explicit or implicit suggestions that sexual co-operation or the toleration of sexual advances may further a person's career or affect a person's academic results;

  c) Unwelcome verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature – e.g., sexually derogatory or stereotypical remarks; questioning regarding a person's marital status or sex life; and

  d) Conduct of a sexual nature that creates a hostile or intimidating environment – e.g., sexual or obscene remarks around the workplace/classrooms/hostels or displaying sexist or other sexually offensive pictures or posters.