A Quick Guide to Understanding the 5 Common Types of Harassment

A Breakdown of 5 of the Most Common Types of Harassment

Harassment refers to a form of discrimination that involves any unwanted verbal or physical behavior that would make a person feel offended, humiliated or intimidated. In most cases, harassment is a kind of conduct that will persist over a period of time but sometimes can also be a serious one-time incident. The causes and forms of harassment are extensive and complex. Most people face different kinds of harassment on a daily basis, but refuse to speak up or stand against this kind of behavior. It is important for every individual to be aware of their surroundings and have an idea of the various kinds of harassment they could face. Here are 5 of the most common types of harassment that people face on a daily basis.

Sexual Harassment

This type of harassment refers to any kind of unwelcome sexual advances, jokes of a sexual nature, asking for sexual favors in return for a promotion at one’s workplace or positive academic assessment. It can be either physical, verbal or written advances that could be termed as inappropriate or crude. Sexual harassment can happen anywhere but most often at the workplace and schools. It includes the violation of a person’s personal space and can cause severe mental trauma for the victim.

Racial Harassment

If an individual or group is subjected to discrimination based on their color, race, nationality, ethnic or regional origins, it can be termed as racial harassment. It can also relate to judgement based on clothing of a certain background, speaking with a different accent and practicing a certain religion. The victim of racial discrimination is usually singled out of a group and humiliated due to their background. This kind of behavior is often exhibited at the workplace, school or the place where you live.

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Workplace harassment refers to the offensive, threatening or insulting behavior that an individual worker or a group of workers are subjected to. It comprises attempts to undermine the value of a worker with an intention to cause embarrassment and humiliation. Workplace harassment can be of two types; one is called ‘quid pro quo’ (this for that) harassment, which refers to unwelcome sexual advances or the request for sexual favors by mostly supervisors who have the authority to make formal decisions. The second is called hostile work environment harassment which refers to the aggressive or unwelcome conduct of co-workers, supervisors, contractors or anyone else with whom there is interaction on the job. This pattern of behavior can render the atmosphere of the workplace unhealthy, threatening and hostile.

Police Harassment

This kind of harassment refers to the unfair treatment and aggressive behavior by the police force, including but not limited to use of excessive force, false arrests, profiling, unwarranted police shootings and coercion. These illegal actions taken by police officers lead to miscarriage and obstruction of justice. It is the duty of the police force to safeguard citizens and uphold the law, but when the authority given to them is misused, it can prove to be catastrophic. The victim of police harassment can suffer serious physical and psychological trauma and lose his/her faith in the legal system.

Online Harassment

Directing derogatory comments on online platforms such as chat rooms, social media sites, and hate mails addressed to an individual or group is collectively referred to as online harassment. Acts such as stealing photos of an individual, manipulating them in offensive ways and posting them on social media, also fall under this category of harassment. Such kind of actions threaten to ruin the reputations of many individuals, thus causing them to suffer mental breakdown. Even cyberstalking and bullying is of major concern in recent times, and defines the online experience of many web users.

 

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