Sexual Harassment: Dealing with Sexual Harassment
What to do if you are being harassed:
- Don't blame yourself,
or ignore the problem.
Many people try to ignore the harassment, hoping that it will go away. However, this usually does not work. Often times harassers take the lack of response as permission to continue the behavior.
- Talk to a friend
or someone whom you trust about what you are feeling.
- Tell or write,
the person who is harassing you to stop. It is important that
you let them know that you don't like what they're doing.
If possible, ask the individual who is doing the harassing to stop either verbally or in writing. It is important to let the person know that you don't like what he/she is doing. If this is not possible ask for help.
- Keep written, dated
records of your experiences: time, places, names
- Ask for help; you
are not alone.
At times, individuals are hesitant to report harassment because they fear retaliation, or being labeled a problem maker. The University of Hawai'i, has a non-retaliation policy to protect anyone filing an informal or formal complaint, serving as a witness or participating in any manner in a complaint resolution process or investigation.
- Don't accept sexual harassment as the "way things are." You do not have to endure abuse!
If you are not sure that the behavior rises
to the level of harassment, come and talk with the Gender Equity
Specialist. We can sit down and talk about your situation and decide
how best to proceed. If appropriate you will be referred to other
resources on campus. For example, if you are experiencing feelings
of self-doubt or distress you could contact:
Complaint Procedures Timeline:
- Informal complaint
In many cases, informal procedures are effective in stopping sexual harassment. This option is open to any individual at the University, who is willing to identify themselves and the alleged harasser, and who wishes to seek a mutually agreeable resolution. Informal actions include holding workshops for the department, distributing written information, counseling the offender, mediating between the two parties, and other preventive measures. The Gender Equity Specialist can meet with you to identify the best strategy for your situation.
- You must be willing to identify yourself and the respondent.
- Contact any of the following:
- Gender Equity Specialist
- Dean of Students Office
- EEO/AA Office
- You will be asked to describe your situation and the resolution you are seeking. You may be asked to fill out a complaint form.
- Examples of informal resolutions include:
- Obtaining your department's commitment to host a sexual harassment workshop
- Privately counseling the Respondent on University's Policy
- A written resolution signed by both parties to the complaint
- Arranging a mediation session with a professional facilitator
- Formal Complaint
This option requires a full investigation of all formal charges. Anyone who is considering filing this type of complaint is urged to do so as soon as possible. Complaints should be filed within 180 calendar days of the last incident of harassment. If the individual can show good cause for later filing, the deadline may be extended to 300 days from the last incident. Formal complaints by employees must be filed with the EEO/AA Office; formal complaints by students must be filed with the Office of the Dean of Students. Individuals can receive assistance from the Gender Equity Specialist during this process.
You must be willing to identify yourself and the respondent
Complaints must be filed within 180 calendar days of the last incident of harassment
- Filing Office
Students should contact:
- Gender Equity Specialist
- Dean of Student's Office
- Equal Employment Office/Affirmative Action Office
Provide a detailed complaint statement with: the name of the Respondent, description of the harassment, dates, locations, documents, and witnesses (if any)
Your complaint will be screened by the investigating office (1-10 working days)
A copy of your complaint statement will be sent to the Respondent (1-5 working days)
The Respondent has 10 working days (extensions possible) to send their version of the events to the investigating office
The investigators interview the reporting party, the respondent and witnesses to gather relevant information (45 working days, extensions may occur)
- Writing up
The investigators prepare a fact-finding report (15 working days, extensions possible)
The Vice Chancellor issues a decision (up to 20 working days, extensions possible)
Either party can file an appeal to the Chancellor withing 10 working days of receiving the decision.