We must understand sexual harassment as a physical, digital or verbal assault, which ultimate goal is to obtain sexual favors from the harassed party, creating a hostile and offensive atmosphere in the workplace. Harassment is a form of violence against a person and its practice is unacceptable.
In early 2020, as a result of online interviews conducted with 414 women from different locations in Brazil by the social innovation consultancy Think Eva, it was found that almost half of the interviewees (47.12%) had already suffered sexual harassment in the workplace and that race and social class are aggravating factors in this context.
There are several forms of behavior that characterize sexual harassment, and this includes physical and mental violence, such as coercion, when a person is forced to do what they do not want. Coercion can be more prolonged in duration, such as repeated sexual jokes or phrases, constant invitations to go out, or inappropriate conversations of a sexual nature, or it can be quick, such as touching a person inappropriately, or rape and sexual abuse.
Some more common examples:
- Explicit or veiled insinuations
- Gestures or words, written or spoken, of a sexual nature
- Promises of differentiated treatment conditioning them to sexual permissions
- Blackmail for permanence or promotion in employment conditional on sexual favors
- Unwanted conversations of a sexual nature
- Unwanted physical contact such as kissing, hugging or touching
- Porn sharing
It is important to highlight the fact that sexual harassment is not the same as the consensual relationship between two people. It is an action imposed by the harasser, which can, in some situations, become dangerous, physically or emotionally. Recalling that, not infrequently, the victim of sexual harassment feels intimidated, embarrassed or threatened by the situation in which she finds herself, which can make it difficult for her to seek the support and the existing tools for her assistance.
To support its employees and third parties, SPIC Brasil provides the Ethics Channel. Through this channel, complaints can be made, and they will be investigated, with the necessary care and confidentiality, so that we can preserve the parties involved and take appropriate disciplinary measures against harassers, and thus build and maintain a work environment healthy and integrate.
The contacts for the SPIC Brasil’s Ethics Channel are:
Phone: 0800 713 0109 (available Monday through Friday, 8:00am to 8:00pm)