Sexual harassment can take various forms and can occur in a wide range of settings, including workplaces, public spaces and online environments.
It is important to note that sexual harassment is a form of gender-based violence and is typically characterized by unwelcome sexual advances, comments or conduct that create a hostile or intimidating environment. There are some common types of sexual harassment that you need to know about.
Sexual comments, jokes, innuendos, asking for sexual favors and obscene or explicit remarks about someone’s body are the most common types of verbal sexual harassment.
Lewd gestures or facial expressions, displaying sexually suggestive images or materials and staring are forms of non-verbal harassment.
Unwanted touching, fondling or groping are very common. Another form is blocking someone’s path or invading their personal space. The more severe cases involve sexual assault or attempted sexual assault.
Sharing or sending explicit images and creating explicit drawings or artwork are forms of visual harassment.
Quid pro quo harassment
Quid pro Quo harassment occurs in the workplace where a person in authority demands sexual favors in exchange for opportunities.
Hostile environment harassment
A hostile environment involves creating a hostile or intimidating environment through sexually harassing behavior or comments that interfere with a person’s ability to work.
Sending explicit messages or images through email, social media or other digital platforms is a form of cyber harassment. Cyberbullying with sexual content or threats is becoming more frequent in remote work situations.
In 2020 there were 11,000 sexual harassment complaints. Organizations often have policies and procedures to address and prevent sexual harassment, and individuals who experience or witness such behavior should report it to the appropriate authorities. Legal definitions and protections against sexual harassment can vary depending on the place and circumstance.