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What is harassment?

You should not tolerate behaviour from another individual or a group of people that:

  •   undermines your fundamental dignity, or
  •   denies you your human rights, or
  •   seeks to demean, humiliate you or create a hostile environment making it difficult for you to work or study at Rhodes

Such behavior is termed unfair discrimination and/or harassment.  

This type of behavior can take many forms, some of which can easily be identified as harassment and/or unfair discrimination while other behaviours may be more subtle and acceptable to some but not to others.

If you believe you are being harassed, you can ask yourself the following questions:

  • is this conduct unwanted and persistent? Has this behavior continued in spite of your asking for this not to take place? For example, calling you certain names, sending you suggestive messages on e-mail or on your cellphone, someone touching your body in an invasive and inappropriate manner.
  • is this conduct unwanted and of a serious nature that has resulted in your feeling demeaned because of your membership to a certain group e.g. because you are Black or Coloured or White; or because you are male or female; or because you are gay etc? For example, someone calling you derogatory names because of the colour of your skin or because of your sexual orientation, has someone been spreading rumours on face-book about your HIV status.
  • is this conduct resulting in the creation of a hostile or intimidating environment?  For example,  ongoing jokes about your culture; visible pictures, signs or slogans in spaces including staff offices that are offensive to you;.
  • have you been threatened you with adverse consequences e.g. losing your job, failing your studies, getting into trouble in order to make you submissive e.g. do as they say? Has this person actually carried through with these threats?  For example, a manager indicating that you will lose your job unless you engage sexually with him/her. Your partner threatening to hit or actually hitting you because you fail to follow certain instructions.
  • is the person behaving in a way to deliberately be hurtful or to incite harm or promote hatred?

 

Last Edited:  6 February 2012  By:    Print

Last Modified :Thu, 15 Aug 2013 14:37:41 SAST