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If you feel you are being harassed

If you experience Sexual Harassment

Don't pretend that it isn’t happening! Sexual harassment will not go away if you ignore it. In fact, harassing behaviours may escalate if the perpetrator feels that he or she can get away with it. Trust your instincts. If you feel something is wrong, it may well be.

Don't blame yourself! Questioning your own actions and behaviours is a common response of people who have been sexually harassed. However, you are not to blame, nor are you responsible for someone else’s actions and behaviour.

Tell the person! If you are able, clearly, directly and firmly tell the person that his/her actions are unacceptable and must stop immediately. (You may want to take someone along with you for support.) If you would rather not speak to the person directly, clearly write your concerns in a letter and send it anonymously (if this is possible) or put a copy of the sexual harassment policy under his/her door, in his/her mailbox or in an area where it is sure to be seen. If you are unable to communicate your concerns to the person for fear of reprisal or concerns for your safety and comfort, or if you find that saying “no” does not stop the offensive actions, it is time to seek help.

Talk to someone about it! In order to find out what options you can pursue to stop the harassment please contact an Advisor in Human Rights & Equity Services or/and Counselling and Psychological Services. You may feel more comfortable talking with a friend, colleague or professor you trust, at first. By talking with others in your department, class, workplace, program, living or learning environment, you may find that someone else has experienced a similar problem and sharing your concerns may help you feel less isolated. You may also wish to talk to someone at the Avalon Sexual Assault Centre, Dalhousie Health Services or South House Sexual and Gender Resource Centre.

Document the situation! Write down the details of the incident(s) when it occurs, if possible, so you don't forget anything. It is important to document dates, times, places, quotations, witnesses and details as carefully as possible. Keep all material (i.e. notes, cards, email messages, letters, answering machine messages etc.) that the perpetrator has sent you. As well, keep a copy of any correspondence you have sent the perpetrator.