Definition of Sexual Harassment

We are in agreement with this definition of sexual harassment (so clearly outlined in the website

Sexual harassment is a type of personal or institutional abuse that uses sexual behavior to alarm, control, demean, intimidate, bully, belittle, humiliate, or embarrass another person.

Sexual harassment can occur between anyone, regardless of sexual or gender orientation.

Sexual harassment is rarely purely related to sexual desire. It is often a misuse and abuse of power and position, whose perpetrators use sexual behavior as a tool or weapon.

It is predatory and manipulative, often used to assert the superiority or dominance of one person over another person.

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome behavior of a sexual kind and can take many forms, including:

  • making unnecessary, unwanted, or unsolicited physical contact
  • unwelcome comments about a person’s physical appearance or clothing
  • commenting on a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity
  • asking questions about a person’s sex life
  • engaging in unwelcome sexual propositions, invitations, and flirtation;
  • making somebody feel uncomfortable through displaying or sharing sexual material
  • giving unwelcome personal gifts
  • wolf-whistling
  • catcalling
  • following
  • leering
  • stalking

Sexual harassment does not always occur in person. It can take the form of:

  • emails
  • visual images
  • social media
  • telephone
  • text messages
  • or any other media.

The abuser need not recognize their own actions or words as sexual harassment in order for it to be considered as such.