Sexualized discrimination, harassment and violence at universities

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    In the university context there are dependencies and hierarchies that can encourage sexual harassment, for example in the case of examinations and expert opinions. Unwanted statements and actions can be accompanied by promises of advantages or the threat of disadvantages in studies, research, teaching and work.

    What is sexualized discrimination, harassment and violence?

    Sexualized Discrimination, Harassment and Violence (SDHV) includes all physical and psychological acts that occur against the will of a person and are experienced as degrading. They violate the principle of equal treatment and violate the dignity and personal rights of a person. SDHV is an expression of sexism (gender discrimination), often heterosexism (standardization of heterosexuality). Since it is not about sexuality, but about power and control, we speak of ‚sexualized‘ instead of ‚sexual‘ harassment and violence. Acts of sexual harassment are, typically, carried out in the context of abuse of power, promise of reward or threat of reprisal. (European Institute for Gender Equality) Any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature occurs, with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. (European Institute for Gender Equality)

    The equal opprtunity officers collect and process ideas and complaints of members of the University according to law of higher education of Brandenburg (Brandenburgisches Hochschulgesetz).

    You can also read our flyer about "Dealing with sexualized discrimination, harassment and violence - information, option for action and contact points at the University of Potsdam".