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English Programs for Internationals


Harassment

In the US, there are very strong laws about what you cannot say or do to someone else. These laws are harassment laws. The behavior is harassment if uninvited and unwelcome. You can be arrested or sent to jail for these actions.

There are different kinds of harassment:

 I. Bullying is laughing or mocking (making fun of) the way another person looks, dresses or acts. This can be about anything if it makes the person feel different. Examples:

  • Trying to make someone do anything they do not want to do.
  • Making threats to harm another person for any reason.
  • Provoking another person to a fight.

 II. Stalking is defined as following someone without them asking you to.

  • Calling (by phone or email or text) someone repeatedly if they did not ask you to or want you to.
  • Waiting for someone after class if they do not want you to.
  • Waiting for another person so you can harm them.

 III. Sexual Harassment is making unwanted or uninvited sexual statements towards another person, whether the person is the opposite or same sex.   Examples:

  • Yelling sexual statements to people as they walk by.  Ex.  “I like what I see.”  “Nice butt.” “Hey, baby.”
  • If a teacher or boss makes comments that make a student or worker feel uncomfortable. Ex. “I can make sure that you get an “A” on this test, if you ….”
  • Touching someone when the touching is not wanted.

Remember:

  • Someone coming to your apartment or allowing you to come to their apartment does not mean that they want sex.
  • The legal age for adults in the US is 18. Sex with someone under 18 by an adult is considered rape even if the other person agreed to sex.
  • Sex with someone who said “NO” is rape even if that person is being very friendly.
  • Sex with a drunken person is considered rape. The person could not make a decision because of the alcohol.
  • Saying or doing anything after someone asks you to stop.
  • The style of dress does not mean that a person wants sex. People can dress in whatever way they want and expect that someone will not say sexual things about them or do sexual acts toward them.
  • Remember that women are equal to men in all ways in the United States.

If you say or do any of these or similar things, you could be arrested. If the words or actions could be offensive to the other person, don’t say or do it.