It is a type of harassment that makes employees feel less comfortable, humiliated, threatened and intimidated. Most of the time, people find it challenging to identify verbal harassment because of different reactions from people. The most common forms of verbal harassment include:
- Making inappropriate jokes, remarks, teasing, or asking sexually related questions
- Asking someone to go out with you, unwelcome sexual advances and sexual favors
- Inquiring about the sexual preference or history of a colleague at the workplace
- Gossiping about someone and spreading lies about them
- Using abusive language and offensive name-calling
- Commenting negatively about a person clothing, body or personal behavior
- Making inappropriate sounds such as kissing sounds, whistling or smacking lips
- Sending someone sexual emails, notes or letters
- Verbal attacks, for instance, arguing with someone using threatening, discriminatory, or demeaning words
- Embarrassing someone in front of people, for example, employer shouting and yelling at an employee over poor performance
Please note that the law does not consider all verbal harassment forms illegal, unless it appears unlawful under the rule of the law. On instances when verbal abuse is not illegal, the victim can talk to the abuser and explain how the words make them uncomfortable.
Visual harassment is a situation where the individual exposes themselves to another person without the consent of the victim, and the act affected their performance or attitude. Example of visual harassment include:
- Exposing of private parts
- Sending sexual images or videos to another person. For instance, sending pornographic videos to another person through a social website without informing the person
- Unwelcome gestures to another person
- Staring at someone else’s body offensively, and making the person feel uncomfortable
- Placing a poster with information related to sexual behaviors
- Exposing someone else offensive pictures or images without their consent
- Displaying nasty messages or content from a website, book or magazine
Physical harassment is an act where someone inappropriately touched you against your will. Physical harassment in the workplace is also known as workplace violence. Physical harassment behavior intimidates, embarrasses, threatens and makes the victim uncomfortable. The most common forms related to physical harassment include:
- Sexual assault or abuse or sexual rape
- Inappropriately touching or grabbing someone, e.g. touching someone’s breast intentionally
- Using intimidating gestures
- Deliberately brushing or rubbing your body against someone
- Blocking another employee movements
- Kissing or hugging someone inappropriately
- Unwelcome touching of another person's hair, clothes or body
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