Examples of Sexual Harrassment

Some examples of possible sexual harassment include:

  • A professor offers for a student to have sex or go on a date with them in exchange for a good grade. This constitutes sexual harassment regardless of whether the student accedes to the request and irrespective of whether a good grade is promised, or a bad grade is threatened.
  • A student repeatedly sends graphic, sexually oriented jokes and pictures around campus via social media to hundreds of other students. Many don’t find it funny and ask them to stop, but they do not. Because of these jokes, one student avoids the sender on campus and in the residence hall in which they both live, eventually asking to move to a different building and dropping a class they had together.
  • A professor engages students in class in discussions about the students’ past sexual experiences, yet the conversations are not in any way germane to the subject matter of the class. The professor inquires about explicit details and demands that students answer them, though the students are clearly uncomfortable and hesitant.
  • An ex-partner widely spreads false stories about their sex life with their former partner to the clear discomfort and frustration of the former partner, turning the former partner into a social pariah on campus.

Examples of Stalking

  • Students A and B were “friends with benefits.” Student A wanted a more serious relationship, which caused student B to break it off. Student A could not let go, and pursued student B relentlessly. Student B obtained a campus no-contact order. Subsequently, Student B discovered their social media accounts were being accessed, and things were being posted and messaged as if they were from them, but they were not. Whoever accessed their account posted a picture of a penis, making it look as if they had sent out a picture of themselves, though it was not their penis. This caused them considerable embarrassment and social anxiety. They changed their passwords, only to have it happen again. Seeking help from the Title IX Coordinator, Student B met with the IT department, which discovered an app on their phone and a keystroke recorder on their laptop, both of which were being used to transmit their data to a third party.
  • A graduate student working as an on-campus tutor received flowers and gifts. After learning the gifts were from a student, they recently tutored, the graduate student thanked the student and stated that it was not necessary and would appreciate it if the gift deliveries stopped. The student then started leaving notes of love and gratitude on the tutor’s car, both on-campus and at home. Asked again to stop, the student stated by email, “You can ask me to stop, but I’m not giving up. We are meant to be together, and I’ll do anything to make you have the feelings for me that I have for you.” When the tutor did not respond, the student emailed again, “You cannot escape me. I will track you to the ends of the earth. If I can’t have you, no one will.”

Examples of Sexual Assault:

  • Amanda and Bill meet at a party. They spend the evening dancing and getting to know each other. Bill convinces Amanda to come up to his room. From 11:00 p.m. until 3:00 a.m., Bill uses every line he can think of to convince Amanda to have sex with him, but she adamantly refuses. Despite her clear communications that she is not interested in doing anything sexual with him, Bill keeps at her, questions her religious convictions, and accuses her of being “a prude.” He brings up several rumors that he has heard about how she performed oral sex on a number of other guys. Finally, it seems to Bill that her resolve is weakening, and he convinces her to “jerk him off” (hand to genital contact). Amanda would have never done it but for Bill's incessant advances. He feels that he successfully seduced her and that she wanted to do it all along but was playing shy and hard to get. Why else would she have come up to his room alone after the party? If she really didn't want it, she could have left.
  • Jiang is a junior. Beth is a sophomore. Jiang comes to Beth’s residence hall room with some mutual friends to watch a movie. Jiang and Beth, who have never met before, are attracted to each other. After the movie, everyone leaves, and Jiang and Beth are alone. They hit it off, soon become more intimate, and start to make out. Jiang verbally expresses his desire to have sex with Beth. Beth, who was abused by a babysitter at the age of five and avoids sexual relations as a result, is shocked at how quickly things are progressing. As Jiang takes her by the wrist over to the bed, lays her down, undresses, and begins to have intercourse with Beth, Beth has a severe flashback to her childhood trauma. She wants to tell Jiang to stop but cannot. Beth is stiff and unresponsive during the intercourse.

Examples of Retaliation:

  • A faculty member alleges gender inequity in pay within her department; the Department Chair then revokes his approval for her to attend a national conference, citing the faculty member’s tendency to “ruffle feathers.”
  • A student from Organization A participates in a sexual harassment investigation as a witness whose testimony is damaging to the Respondent, who is also a member of Organization A; the student is subsequently removed as a member of Organization A because of their participation in the investigation.

ATIXA 2020 Interim Model Sexual Harassment Policy
Use and adaptation of this model with citation to ATIXA is permitted though a limited license
to AdventHealth University
All other rights reserved.
©2020.ATIXA