What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is inappropriate behavior with a sexual connotation or based on the person’s gender, which is unwanted by the person confronted with it, and which undermines their dignity and physical integrity. It can occur in the context of work, study or events that take place at the university. It can also involve e-mails and private telephone calls. Sexual harassment may be committed by members of staff, students or people outside UNIL.

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that is explicitly prohibited by the Gender Equality Act (GEA, art. 4). It has serious consequences for its victims and those who witness it, and harms the institution as a whole. As a result, sexual harassment is not tolerated at the University of Lausanne under any circumstances. Acts of sexual harassment must be reported, investigated and, if applicable, punished.

Examples of acts of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment can take several forms (words, gestures or actions). For example:

  • Sexist remarks or jokes about sexual characteristics, sexual behavior or sexual orientation.
  • Inappropriate invitations with a sexual objective.
  • Unwanted physical contact.
  • Presentation of pornographic material.
  • Sexual aggression, sexual coercion, attempted rape or rape.
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