The Working Environment Act prohibits harassment and other undue behavior at workplaces, and all educational institutions must take measures to prevent harassment. UiO accepts no form of bullying or sexual harassment.
Bullying and sexual harassment
Harassment and undue behavior occur in many different ways, where bullying and sexual harassment are the most familiar forms.
Harassment is usually actions that are repeated over time, but serious single events can also be defined as harassment. This can be done explicitly through words and actions, or omissions of actions, but also in more indirect ways, see examples of the Labor Inspection's website on harassment (arbetsstilsynet.no) (Norwegian).
What is bullying?
When negative events are systematically and repeatedly directed against one and the same person, it is bullying.
Bullying can have many forms. It may be being excluded from the social and academic network at UiO, repeatedly being passed over or overlooked, for example, when tasks are to be distributed, being unjustly or exaggeratedly accused for doing poor work or joked about and being ridiculed.
Many may experience being exposed to different forms of this. For it to be called bullying it must happen repeatedly and over time (arbeidstilsynet.no) (Norwegian).
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is any kind of unwanted sexual attention that has the purpose or effect of being offensive, intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or troublesome.
"Sexual attention" refers to attention of sexual nature or sexually explicit attention. Attention may be verbal, non verbal or physical.
Sexual harassment can include everything from looks, comments and unwanted touch. Sending photos or videos with sexual content via letter, telephone or internet may also be included.
In order for something to be sexual harassment, the attention must be undesirable. That means neither should it be welcome nor reciprocal. It is the perception of those who find themselves harassed, which should be given the most weight in assessing whether or not the harassment was undesirable. Read about sexual harassment on the Equality and Anti-discrimination Ombuds pages (ldo.no).
Have you experienced this?
UiO takes mobbing and sexual harassment seriously and encourages you to speak up if you experience it. As a member of staff, you have the duty to blow the whistle if you see others being bullyed or harassed at UiO.
For you as a student
It can be hard to speak up directly, so here you have several options:
- Provide feedback in writing through sms, e-mail or similar, and keep a record.
- Tell what you've experienced to a person you trust as soon as possible. Ask the person you speak with to write down what you have told.
- Write down the event yourself. Record time and place, what happened and how you responded. Keep a record for documentation, such as text, email, Facebook and Snapchat.
- Search for help and advice from your General Practitioner (GP), the Ombud for Students, SiO Health and Counselling (sio.no) or the University Chaplains.
- Report the case to the police if you think that what you have experienced is punishable.
- Use the possibility to Speak up to UiO to alert those who know how to follow up on such a case at UiO.
- First contact your nearest manager and explain the situation. If it is hard to do this alone, bring someone you trust.
If it's hard for you to go to your leader first, there are others you can consult with:
- You can contact Occupational Health Service Unit for advice.
- Talk to a colleague whom you trust about what has happened.
- You can contact a safety representative or a trade union representative.
- Use the whistleblowing options at UiO.
Either way, you should make some own notes describing the event(s). Record time and place, what happened and how you responded.