Sexual Harassment

Overview of Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can be defined as: unwanted sexual attention in the work or learning environment. In some cases, this occurs when a person in a position of power uses that power to coerce a subordinate into providing sexual favors. The imbalance of power creates a situation in which the subordinate does not feel free to say "no." Some examples of this type of behavior include:

  • Unwanted, repeated requests for dates
  • Offering employment or educational benefits in exchange for personal attention
  • Repeated attempts to turn a professional relationship into a personal one

In some instances of sexual harassment, there is behavior of a sexual nature in the workplace or learning environment which creates an intimidating, offensive or hostile environment that affects people's ability to do their job or learn. This behavior may occur between peers or between people with unequal power. Some examples of this type of behavior include:

  • Personal comments or questions
  • Sexual jokes and innuendoes
  • Unwanted, repeated requests for dates
  • Suggestive looks, gestures and sounds
  • Sexual touching
  • Posters or cartoons

At times, our words and actions are perceived differently from how we intend them. It is important to note that it is the impact of the behavior, not the intent, which is used to determine whether the behavior constitutes sexual harassment.

In any form, sexual harassment is illegal. It is a violation of Title Vll of the Federal Civil Rights Act, Title IX of the Education Code, California State Law and the University of California Policy and Procedures. Retaliating against someone for complaining about sexual harassment is also illegal and against University policy.


What Can Be Done

If You Feel That You May Be Experiencing Sexual Harassment:

  • Don't blame yourself. You have not asked for this attention.
  • Get personal support. Don't let feelings of self-doubt or confusion stop you from seeking help or speaking out. Consider talking to any of the resources listed below.
  • Act quickly. The behavior will not go away. Often the behavior escalates rather than diminishes. Also, some options for remedy expire after thirty days.
  • Keep a record. Note dates, places, times and witnesses, as well as the nature of the harassment.
  • Learn your rights and resources. Call any of the resources listed on this brochure for confidential assistance.

If You Are Concerned About Being Accused of Sexual Harassment:

  • Examine your own behavior: Could it be interpreted as sexual harassment, even if that's not your intent?
  • Ask yourself. how you would feel if some one acted this way toward your child or significant other?
  • Learn your rights and resources: Call any of the resources listed on this page for confidential assistance.


How We Can Help

Emotional Support Services

Dealing with a sexual harassment problem can be stressful, whether you have a complaint, have been accused, or are otherwise involved. If you would like to speak to someone about the emotional issues that your situation brings up for you, these resources may be helpful:

HDAPP offers an anonymous call line (530) 752-2255. Any member of the UC Davis community can call this number anonymously to share concerns about sexual harassment and to discuss resources and options. Staff can also call this number to discuss concerns about discrimination anonymously.

You can schedule an intake with a SHCS counselor by calling (530) 752-2349Urgent Care drop-in services are available on the first floor of the Student Health and Wellness Center

Campus Resources

Online Resources