Sexual Harassment: Get Support

Sexual Violence Response is available 24/7/365. To make an appointment during business hours, call (212) 854-3500For urgent or after-hours support, please call the 24/7 helpline at (212) 854-4357 to speak with an advocate.

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What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment can include the following behaviors:

  • Sex-specific derogatory names, for example, calling a woman slut or whore
  • Spreading sexual rumors
  • Rating people on sexual activity or performance
  • Disseminating compromising/private photographs or videos
  • Circulating, showing, or creating emails or websites of a sexual nature
  • Demanding hugs
  • Invading personal space
  • Making unnecessary physical contact, including unwanted touching
  • Leering or inappropriate staring

Perpetrators can also sexually harass someone online and through the use of technology. 

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission defines sexual harassment as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment."

    Sexual Harassment in an Academic Setting

    Sexual harassment is associated with the following situations:

    • A student harassing another student or students
    • A professor or staff member harassing a student
    • A student harassing a professor or staff member

    In academic settings, sexual harassment often encompasses an unequal power dynamic, where one person is in a position of power, such as a club leader, professor, teaching assistant, or advisor.

    Types of Harassment

    There are two main types of harassment in workplace or academic settings:

    • Quid pro quo, or "this for that": when sexual favors or requests are made on the condition of one’s employment or academic career
    • Hostile environment: when the harassment is severe or pervasive enough to create an environment that a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive

    Sexual harassment can occur in virtual or digital settings, for example, through ‘revenge porn’. Learn more about technology-facilitated abuse

    Other Things to Consider:

    You may choose to speak with an SVR advocate to enlist confidential support around:

    • Legal information and options
    • Court advocacy or assistance obtaining legal representation
    • Assistance drafting a victim impact statement
    • On-campus accommodations (housing, academic, financial)
    • On- and off-campus referrals (mental health, follow up care, healing support)
    • Remembering it's not your fault
    • Identifying a friend or other support person to be by your side
    • Learning how to discuss the incident with family members