Nobody at UiO, neither staff nor students, shall be subjected to unwelcome sexual attention or sexual harassment.
UiO has drawn up notification routines for reporting matters of this nature. Section 2-5 of the Norwegian Working Environment Act (pdf) provides for the protection of a person who reports harassment against retaliation from their employer.
What are unwelcome sexual attention and sexual harassment?
The concept of ’unwelcome sexual attention/harassment’ is very broad. It covers a whole spectrum of experiences with a sexual undertone, ranging from one-off remarks and threats at one end of the scale to a situation where the person concerned feels systematically sexually harassed at the other. The person feeling that their integrity is violated should take it up with the person causing them to feel this way, or consult others about the incident(s). What people experience as offensive can vary from person to person, and depends to some extent on culture and background.
Examples of offensive behaviour:
- Unwelcome touching and “pawing”
- Personal comments about the recipient’s body, appearance, clothing or private life
- Showing of pornographic pictures, whistling and body movements with sexual undertones
- From sexual advances, proposals and suggestions to psychological and physical pressure to obtain sexual favours
These actions often become increasingly offensive with time, and they often occur in combination. In the case of a tutor/student relationship, for example, it could be a matter of anything from a disagreeable one-off episode to systematic harassment over a long period.
When the situation is one of systematic offenses over time, and the offender is aware of the recipient’s negative reactions, it is called sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is the most serious form of offensive or threatening sexual attention. The harassment can have a destructive effect on the work or study situation of the student, research fellow or employee who is subjected to it. The management at the relevant levels must therefore assume responsibility and take action.