Sexual harassment is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010 and contravenes the Academy Student Charter and CUKSN Respect Policy.
Whether or not the harasser intended to be offensive is irrelevant. The limit of acceptable behaviour is up to the recipient to decide. A single incident or persistent behaviour can amount to harassment.
Sexual harassment can range from behaviour that is obvious to anyone to more subtle behaviour that is 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; 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 upskirting.
Sexual misconduct more specifically raises issues of unequal relationships, consent, and the prevention of equal access to education, opportunities and career progression.