On this page, you will find general information about sexual harassment. You can also learn more by visiting the Yale Sexual Misconduct Response & Prevention site, where you can read Yale’s definition of sexual harassment, or by downloading SHARE’s brochure on the topic here.
General Information About Sexual Harassment
There are a range of behaviors and behavior patterns that fall into the category of sexual harassment, including inappropriate jokes and remarks, sexual advances, sexual questioning, and so on. Some behaviors may feel harmless on their own, but add up to create a hostile environment; other behaviors are clearly hostile and intimidating even as singular occurrences. Not all sexual harassment is directed at a specific person; some of it can affect many people who are within range. Given how closely we work and live together at Yale, even very focused harassment can impact people beyond the direct recipient.
People of all genders can commit sexual harassment, and also be the recipient of it. Sexual harassment can occur between peers or between individuals with different degrees of power and status. Ongoing harassment can be particularly difficult to address when it takes place within professional and academic hierarchies—advisors, managers, supervisors, etc.—as the recipient may feel that making a complaint will worsen the situation. Reaching out to SHARE can be a good place to start to brainstorm options moving forward. Many resources at Yale (including SHARE and Title IX) have extensive experience addressing situations involving complex power dynamics and will work closely with you to explore options that minimize the impact on your educational and professional life. The decision of how to proceed, however, will always be left up to you unless the situation involves an acute safety concern.