Pervent Sexual Harassment and Bullying

Sexual Harassment and Bullying - Never Cross The Line

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Verbal/ Written

Verbal sexual harassment involves saying anything of a sexual nature to someone who is an unwilling recipient. If someone else says something to you that is either explicitly sexual or sexually-suggestive, and if what they say makes you uncomfortable, then you may be a victim of sexual harassment. Examples of verbal sexual harassment include:

  • Requesting sexual favors
  • Expressing a desire for sexual contact or conduct
  • Using sexually-explicit language
  • Telling sexual jokes
  • Commenting on a person’s appearance
  • Speaking in a sexual tone
  • Using sexually-suggestive nicknames or terms of endearment

Not every sexually-charged comment rises to the level of sexual harassment, and the perpetrator’s intent can be a factor in some cases (e.g., if someone tells a sexual joke believing that it will be found funny, not offensive). However, there is a line that can be easily crossed; and, for individuals who feel that they have been victimized by verbal sexual harassment, it is important to consult with an attorney promptly.

Physical

Unwanted physical contact is considered either sexual harassment or sexual assault, depending on the severity of the encounter. Examples of physical contact that can constitute sexual harassment, or that can blur the line between sexual harassment and sexual assault, include:

  • Any form of unwanted touching
  • Patting, grabbing, rubbing, or pinching
  • Hugging or kissing

No matter where you are or what you are doing, you do not have to accept unwanted physical sexual contact. You have the right to your own personal sovereignty, and you cannot legally be forced to submit to unwanted physical sexual contact as a condition to receiving a job opportunity or anything else. If you or someone you care about has been victimized, a lawyer can help, and we strongly encourage you to contact a lawyer right away.

Non-Verbal

Non-verbal sexual harassment is any form of unwanted sexual communication or conduct that involves something other than verbal speech but falls short of physical sexual contact. This includes sending emails and text messages that are sexually explicit or otherwise sexual in nature, as well as acts such as:

  • Exposing oneself
  • Blocking a hallway or doorway
  • Blowing kisses or winking
  • Showing sexually-explicit videos
  • Staring, following, or stalking

Here, too, a single act of non-verbal sexual harassment will not necessarily give rise to a legal claim – although it is a possibility, depending on the circumstances involved. If you have any evidence (e.g., an email or text message), you should keep it to share with your attorney; and, if anyone saw what happened, he or she could serve as an important witness in your sexual harassment case as well.

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