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Sexual harassment at universities

What is sexual harassment?

“Sexual harassment at the workplace is defined as gender-related behavior which occurs in verbal, non-verbal or physical form when accessing the place of work or at the place of work, in professional life or vocational training which aims at or results in the violation of a person’s dignity or the creation of an environment of intimidation, hostility, degradation, humiliation, insults or disturbance. […] Sexual harassment is particularly reprehensible in cases where a relationship of dependence is exploited. [...]”

(Translation of an excerpt from the announcement of the Bavarian state government dated November 6, 2001, file no.: B III 2 – 2780-136)

 

Legal basis:

General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG) dated August 14, 2006

German Criminal Code StGB (in particular chapter thirteen) Offences against sexual self-determination:

Section 174 Abuse of position of trust

Section 177 Sexual assault by use of force or threats; rape

Section 183 Exhibitionism

Although in the majority of cases victims of sexual harassment are women, also men can suffer sexual harassment and physical abuse. In many cases, affected persons feel insecure and remain silent about what they have experienced, which can result in stress and anxiety. Do not ignore what you have experienced! Make it public! This will also help other affected persons to talk about their own experiences in public.

 

What can I do when I suffer sexual harassment on the University premises?

Use clear words and explicitly say that you do not accept the other person’s behavior.

Immediately inform one of the following contact persons:

 - Women and equal opportunity officers of the University or 

 - Women and equal opportunity officers of the faculties or

 - Women and equal opportunity officers of the Student Representatives Council

Talk about what happened! This will help you to overcome feelings of insecurity! 

All information you provide will be treated strictly confidential. We will not take any measures without your explicit consent! It is your personal decision if and which measures you would like to be taken. If desired, it is also possible to arrange for anonymous counseling via telephone.

 

Further information:

The website of the German federal conference of women and equal opportunity officers at universities provides comprehensive information on the topic 'Sexualized discrimination and violence at universities ' (available in German).

You can also find advice and information at the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency.

Here you are able to find information about the European Institute for Gender Equality and the White Ribbon Campaign.

All new students receive a list of phone numbers for personal emergency situations at the KU together with their enrollment documents. This list can also be accessed in the KU directory (in German).

Emergency numbers