Sexual Harassment

Definition overview

1 Definition

Sexual Harassment is any unwanted or unwelcome sexual behaviour which makes a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. Sexual Harassment can take many different forms. It can be obvious or indirect, physical or verbal, repeated or one-off, and perpetrated by males and females against people of the same or opposite sex.

Sexual Harassment may include:

  • staring or leering;
  • unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person, or unwelcome touching;
  • suggestive comments or jokes;
  • insults or taunts of a sexual nature;
  • intrusive questions or statements about a person's private life;
  • displaying posters, magazines or screen-savers of a sexual nature;
  • sending sexually explicit emails or text messages;
  • inappropriate advances on social networking sites;
  • accessing sexually explicit internet sites;
  • requests for sex or repeated unwanted requests to go out on dates;
  • behaviour that may also be considered to be an offence under criminal law, such as physical assault, indecent exposure, sexual assault, stalking or obscene communications.

Sexual Harassment is not interaction, flirtation or friendship which is mutual or consensual.

2 References

Anti-Discrimination Act 1991, Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

3 Definition Information

Approved Date


Effective Date


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Complying with the law and observing Policy and Procedure is a condition of working and/or studying at the University.

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