What are the different forms of sexual harassment?

Some forms of sexual harassment include:

Physical conduct

  • Unwanted touching or physical contact (e.g. an arm around the shoulder; a hand placed on a thigh or another part of the body; standing up against someone after being told to move away);
  • Being subjected to a strip search in the presence of someone of the opposite sex.

Verbal conduct

  • Cat calling – whistling, yelling sexually suggestive comments, usually at a stranger;
  • Unwanted flirting;
  • Jokes referring to sexual acts and/or sexual orientation;
  • Unwelcome graphic comments about a person’s body (e.g. “Look at those sexy legs” “Nice rack” “I like a curvy woman”);
  • Unwelcome and inappropriate enquiries about a person’s sex life;
  • Sexual favours – asking for sexual favours from a co-worker or peer;
  • Other sexual advancements.

Non-verbal conduct

  • Unwelcome gestures of a sexual nature – looking someone up and down in a way that makes that person feel uncomfortable, blocking someone’s path;
  • Indecent exposure (e.g. “flashing”);
  • Unwelcome display and/or sharing of sexually explicit pictures and objects.

Quid pro Quo – Something for Something

  • When an owner, employer, supervisor, member of management or co-employee influences conditions of employment or advancement in exchange for sexual favours, either explicitly or implicitly – this may include: access to training opportunities; consideration for employment, promotion and/or salary increase, and dismissal/disciplinary proceedings.