The cause of harassment is important

What are the causes of sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment has primarily nothing to do with initiation or sexuality. It also has nothing to do with the subjective attractiveness of a harassed person. In the work context, it is usually related to the exercise of power and hierarchies. Above all, two causes or intentions can be distinguished: On the one hand, hierarchical working relationships are used to sexually harass and to demonstrate one's own power. This reinforces existing inequalities. Sexual harassment is often a means of eliminating competition or undermining the authority of a superior, for example.

Examples from case law: Sexual harassment as ...

Show of force

  • The chairman of the board harassed the temporary worker
  • The training manager harasses the trainee
  • The board of directors harasses the manager
  • The employee harasses the intern

Competition / disrespect

  • The work colleague tells a sexist joke that plays down rape
  • A group of employees expresses itself inappropriately about the attractiveness of the new colleague
  • The employee asks a colleague to wear a mini skirt
  • The construction worker forcibly pushes the site manager into a corner and grabs her chest

Our services at a glance:

  • Free telephone advice from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., in crisis situations around the clock
  • Access to psychosocial counseling near where you live or work
  • Assurance of absolute confidentiality
  • Help with clarifying everyday practical questions

You can reach our advisors free of charge on 0800 976 976 0