Sexual Harassment

Is it flirting or sexual harassment .....? The action plan against sexual harassment at UMB was adopted by the Board of Higher Education in September 2004.

Sexual harassment

What about you – what kind of reactions do your behaviour arouse? Would you have changed your behaviour if your boyfriend or girlfriend had been around? How would you have reacted if someone behaved like that to some of your friends/relatives? Remember that the subjective experience of sexual harassment is crucial. Statements such as "Sexual harassment does not exist here" or "I could very well imagine being sexually harassed" help to trivialise and deny the problem. Sexual harassment exists in many forms, consciously or unconsciously.

As a student and employee, you also have the responsibility for your fellow students and colleagues well-being. Be conscious of your own actions and statements! Help others who are exposed to sexual harassment to say that such unwanted attention is not acceptable.

"It is prohibited to expose anyone to sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual attention unwelcomed by the person exposed to the attention. Sexual harassment is considered discrimination because of gender."

(Extract from § 8a. Sexual Harassment, Law of gender equality)

What is sexual harassment?
Sexual attention becomes harassment when:

  • It is unwanted
  • It is annoying 
  • It continues even when the harassed has told the harasser to stop
  • It has negative consequences of physical, mental or work related character
Other factors to be taken in to consideration
  • The severity of the conduct
  • Time and place of the action
  • Whether the action has been going on over time 
  • The hierarchical relationship and difference in power balance between the harasser and the person being harassed
Examples of sexual harassment:
Only unwelcome conduct can be sexual harassment.
  • Unnecessary touching / grouping and "picking"
  • Personal comments about one’s body, clothing or private life
  • Unwanted sexual approach, suggestions and hints in conversation, sex pressure 
  • Displaying of pornographic pictures 
  • Whistling and body gestures that have sexual undertones 
  • Demanding sexual services from an employee in return for; pay increase, condition for employment, marking, positive assessment etc
What to do if you think you are being sexually harassed
  • Speak out – confront the person!
  • Contact the management of the relevant unit/department or responsible contact person. Feel free to bring a trusted friend 
  • Write a complain
Who do you contact?
The responsible contact person has an independent responsibility to take hold of and follow up cases on his/hers own initiative. The contact person will often act as the “first line of contact”, where you can get help to find out whether you have a case, and if so bring the case further depending on the nature of the case.

Social Consultant SiÅs - Torgeir Hansen - Phone 64 96 63 60
Head of the Student information Centre (SIT): Iben Andersen - Phone: 64 96 59 68

Department of Personnel and Organisation

Published 7. March 2014 - 7:59 - Updated 23. May 2017 - 19:49

Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)

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