By Jodie McConnell
Changing societal norms in the 1980's brought sexual harassment to our attention. A new era dawned during which it was considered wrong to harass someone based on their sex. In Canada, Sexual Harassment has been found to be a type of discrimination based on sex. In Ontario, the Human Rights Code is the vital piece of legislation that prohibits harassment and discrimination based on sex.
The Ontario Human Rights Code recognizes that harassment also, occurs due to a person's race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship or creed and calls it Racial Harassment. Other grounds of harassment recognized by the Ontario Human Rights Code are: sexual orientation, handicap, age, marital status, family status or receipt of public assistance. U of G prohibits harassment on these grounds in work, study and residential life.
Harassment is a violation of the rights of an individual.
Harassment involves ongoing comments or conduct which is unwelcome or which ought to be known to be unwelcome or unwanted. A single incident, if severe enough, can be considered harassment. Harassment may be physical, verbal, written or graphic and can include the use of electronic media.
Examples of harassment include: a person degrading or taunting you because of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or any other listed grounds
a person is bothering, threatening, insulting you or treating you unfairly because of race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, handicap or any other listed grounds
Harassment can occur anywhere, anytime, and amongst various people interacting in their daily lives. It can occur between a supervisor and employee, professor and student, teaching assistant and student, student and student, student and staff, employee and employee. The majority of sexual harassment is perpetrated by men against women. However, the majority of men are not sexual harassers.
What can I do about harassment?challenge harassment
support the person who is being harassed
be an ally to a person who is being harassed
raise my concerns with someone who can help
call the Human Rights and Equity Office at ext. 53000.
learn my rights and responsibilities
To prevent harassment I need to:
be aware of my prejudices, language and conduct
increase my own awareness on what is harassment
help others understand what is harassment
talk about he impact of harassment
As a society we agree the harassment is morally ethically and legally wrong. This belief requires a further commitment on our part to transform this thought into action. Each of us acting in earnest and by our individual effort will bring us closer to our goal of eliminating harassment and towards recognizing the inherent dignity and worth of every person.
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