Measures you can take up against harassment
If you think you have been harassed
- ● There is no need to blame yourself. Even if you have been harassed, it is not solely your problem.
- ● It is important to communicate your feelings of discomfort. However, even if you keep silent, you will not be blamed for the harassment.
- ● Even if you cannot express your discomfort to the other person, you do not have to suffer alone. Talk to a trusted friend or to a teacher. Another way is to ask someone close to you such as a friend to communicate for you or request your group leader to help you.
- ● Keep records of the specific facts of the harassment, such as date, location, the other person's behavior, witnesses, how you reacted, and what you noticed, etc. If someone is willing to be a witness, it is a good idea to ask them to give testimony.
- ● Always save all communications from the other party, such as emails.
- ● Please consult with our office.
If you witness harassment
- ● If you witness harassment, if possible, immediately tell the harasser to stop.
- ● Talk to the person being harassed and listen carefully to what they say. It is important that you do not criticize them simplistically, such as by saying, “You are also in the wrong,” or to go ahead and act without their consent.
- ● Please encourage them to talk to a trusted person or to seek consultation at our office.
- ● If you are unsure of what to do, please consult with our office.
(We also accept consultations from third parties.)
How to avoid engaging in harassment
- ● Even if you consider your behavior as being harmless, the other person may perceive it entirely different from you. Respect other people's dignity and wishes. Think about your behavior from the other person's point of view.
- ● If you know that the other person feels uncomfortable, or does not like what you are doing, do not repeat the behavior.
- ● Stop thinking that the other person is “OK” with what you are doing just because they do not protest. The other person might not always express their feelings clearly. Especially if there is a hierarchical or power relationship between the two of you, it is often not possible for the other person to communicate their feelings clearly. Please do not mistake this for consent, agreement, or acceptance.
- ● Always try to create an environment where there is open communication, and where people can freely express what they feel and exchange opinions.
- ● Be aware that harassment is not just what happens on campus. Harassment behavior at parties and work-related get-togethers held off campus may be considered as an extension of on-campus harassment.
- ● If you do something that amounts to harassment, make a sincere effort to make amends with the other person, by immediately apologizing, for example.
- ● If you are unsure of whether your behavior constituted harassment, or if you have been told that you have harassed someone, we recommend seeking consultation at our office.