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Tacoma Community College » About TCC » Policies » Sexual Harassment and Title IX » Examples of Sexual Harassment

Examples of Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment Includes Any Unwanted Sexual Attention Such As

  • Subtle pressure for sexual activity
  • Sexually suggestive gestures, notes, teasing, jokes
  • Deliberate and unwelcome touching, pinching, patting
  • Attempts to kiss or fondle
  • Pressure for dates, pressure for sex
  • Inappropriate and/or offensive personal remarks of a sexual nature
  • Sexually demeaning comments, sexual graffiti, or offensive illustrations
  • Requests for sexual favors in exchange for grades, salary increases or promotions
  • Embarrassing and sexually suggestive favoritism shown by an instructor toward a student(s)
  • Disparaging remarks about one’s gender

Examples of Sexual Harassment

Connie hears her first discussion of sexual harassment as part of a Training and Development session. She realizes then that when her supervisor clips sexually suggestive notes to her assignments, such as “I work better after hours, let’s talk about this over drinks” or “How about discussing this at my place tonight?” it may constitute sexual harassment. Connie sees that she has tolerated this behavior hoping that it would go away. It hasn’t.

David’s instructor has just approved his course selection for his final quarter before graduation. As he leaves, the instructor tells him that if she got to know him personally outside the classroom she could help him with his job search. She then reaches out and gives him a squeeze. David talks about it with other students in the program and discovers that the same instructor had recently made similar suggestions to two others.

Jennifer’s boss is going through a divorce. Lately, he has begun telling her about his fantasies and pressuring her into making his fantasies come true. She has refused, but now he is saying she will never get a promotion if she doesn’t have sex with him. Jennifer is extremely depressed and fearful that her career is at stake. She is considering quitting her job.

Take Action

Are you afraid that…

  • You will suffer retaliation from the harasser?
  • People will think that you “asked for it”?
  • You have misread the initiator’s intentions?
  • You are somehow responsible for the harasser’s behavior?

These fears are often reported by people who have suffered from unwanted sexual advances. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Don’t accept these actions as the “way things are.”

What You Can Do

Say no. Tell the harasser his or her advances are unwanted. Many people believe that a “no” is really a “yes” and therefore do not accept refusal. If you say “no” your response should be respected and accepted.

Don’t delay. Pay attention to cues or comments indicating harassment. If a person’s behavior makes you uncomfortable, say so.

Keep a record. Should the harassment continue, keep track of dates, times, places and statements. This information can be used to support a claim.

Talk to others. Talk to the Title IX Coordinator to get support and help in stopping harassment. If you wish to file a formal complaint, college officials will help you. If a formal complaint is filed, the college will take appropriate action while protecting the rights of all persons.

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