Sexual harassment is contrary to the Equality Act 2010 , the Student Code of Conduct and the University Dignity at Work Policy.
Sexual harassment is unwanted and unwelcome words, conduct, or behaviour of a sexual nature that has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, embarrassing, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the recipient. It is a misuse of personal or institutional power and is often based on a person’s gender, although it is rarely about sexual desire.
Whether or not the harasser intended to be offensive is irrelevant. The limit of acceptable behaviour as described is up to the recipient to decide. A single incident or persistent behaviour can amount to harassment.
Sexual harassment can range from behaviour that seems obvious to anyone or more subtle behaviour less obvious to either the person responsible for the behaviour or to the recipient. Often the impact is not felt or witnessed immediately. The impact may go beyond the recipient to people who see or hear what happens or who try to offer support.
Sexual harassment can include, but is not limited to, catcalling, following, making unnecessary and unwanted physical contact, sexual jokes and comments, giving unwelcome personal gifts, wolf-whistling, leering, derogatory comments, unwelcome comments about a person’s body or clothing, asking unwelcome questions about a person’s sex life and/or sexuality, engaging in unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations and flirtation, making somebody feel uncomfortable through displaying or sharing sexual material. Sexual harassment does not necessarily occur face-to-face and can be in the form of emails, visual images (such as sexually explicit pictures on walls in a shared environment), social media, telephone, text messages and image based sexual abuse, such as revenge porn and up-skirting.