Resources to Identify, Prevent & Report Sexual Harassment

FH OÖ’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion

FH OÖ Compass upholds the 10 guiding principles of the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. Therefore, FH OÖ Compass upholds guiding principle 2, which states: “We represent a value system that does not tolerate any form of discrimination, be it on the basis of gender, ethnic origin, religion, ideology, disability, age or sexual orientation.”

Additionally, FH OÖ Compass upholds guiding principle 10, which states: “We are committed to the fundamental right to education for all people and support people nationally and internationally in acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills.”

FH OÖ commits to creating and maintaining a safe, respectful, and inclusive learning environment for all students. Here you’ll find resources to identify, prevent, and report sexual harassment.

Identify Sexual Harassment

According to the European Institute for Gender Equality, sexual harassment is defined as “any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature occurs, with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person, in particular when creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment”.1

Often times, sexual harassment is “typically, carried out in the context of abuse of power, promise of reward or threat of reprisal”.1

Sexual harassment is discrimination, and violates the Austrian Federal Equal Treatment Act, in which “nobody may be discriminated against in employment due to their gender, age, ethnicity, religion or views, or sexual orientation”. 2

Therefore, sexual harassment is never accepted, despite statements which are often used to excuse it, including the following:

  • “’It was just a joke.’”
  • “’But s*he is so nice!'”
  • “’S*he is from a different culture.’” 1
  • “But in former times, that was acceptable.”

 

 

 

In order to identify sexual harassment, it’s essential to become aware of your own perspective and biases, which are often a result of your upbringing, life experiences, and country of origin. Educate yourself and expand your perspectives by unlearning your own biases and engaging in constructive conversations with others.

The FH OÖ Compass upholds the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria’s guiding principle 10, which states: “We are committed to the fundamental right to education for all people and support people nationally and internationally in acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills.” FH OÖ students are encouraged to ensure that FH OÖ is a safe, inclusive, and positive community for all.

Forms of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment may be expressed in gestures, words or actions and may originate from individuals or groups. A distinction is made between verbal, nonverbal, and physical sexual conduct that results in harassment.

Verbal

Insinuating and ambiguous remarks about the person’s body, clothing or appearance, sexist jokes and sayings about sexual characteristics, behavior or orientation, questions about relationships and sex life, repeated invitations with clear intent, etc.

Nonverbal

Degrading and provocative gestures, sexist stares, unwanted gifts, displaying, placing pornographic materials, etc.

Physical

Unwelcome physical contact, sexual assault, coercion and rape

Prevent Sexual Harassment

Recommendations to prevent sexual harassment

Unfortunately, sexual harrassment still occurs. Remember that sexual harassment is never acceptable and every person has the right to be respected. Here are some recommendations to help prevent sexual harassment, and ensure that FH OÖ is a safe, inclusive, and positive community for all.

Recall facts of the situation

If you are a victim of sexual harassment, remember that it is not acceptable. You are not alone.

If possible, try to maintain a calm, sensible mindset to address the situation. If you feel comfortable, speak to a trusted friend or classmate about the incident so that you are not alone with the trauma. If you feel comfortable, talk to an FH OÖ professor or staff member to report it and determine the next course of action. If you feel comfortable, report it here:  Anonymous Report to the FH OÖ Gender and Diversity Management Conference (GDM-K).

Stand up to sexual harassment

If you witness sexual harassment, remember that it is not acceptable. Be an ally and stand in solidarity with victims by making your presence known, listening to the victim’s recollection of the situation, reminding victims that they are not alone, and asking if and how they want support.

Commit to ensuring that FH OÖ is a safe, inclusive, and positive community for all by listening to and supporting victims.

Educate yourself and expand your perspectives

Commit to expanding your perspectives. Engage in conversations with people who are different than you are — in life experiences, language, ethnic origin, gender, religion, ideology, and age — to learn about and understand their perspectives. Commit to unlearning your own biases and educate yourself about how to stand up to sexual harassment.

If you see something, say something!

You cannot control the behaviour of others, but you can help ensure that FH OÖ is a safe, respectful, and inclusive community for all. It’s possible to help prevent sexual harassment by calling out and reporting it. If you feel comfortable, anonymously report it here:  Anonymous Report to the FH OÖ Gender and Diversity Management Conference (GDM-K).

Recommendations if legal actions are taken

If legal action is taken, it is helpful to have notes and other evidence such as texts, emails or chat histories relating to the sexual harassment. Documentation of all actions is recommended.

Further information to identify, prevent, and report sexual harassment

Learn about the FH OÖ Gender and Diversity Management Conference (GDM-K)

Need Help? Anonymously Report to the FH OÖ GDM-K

Need Help? Contact an FH OÖ Mental Health First Responder on your Campus

Need Help? Contact the ÖH FH OÖ Student Helpline

Further information on the topic of sexual harassment

Counseling Centers to Receive More Support

Ombud for Equal Treatment

Personal and free consultation (also with translation service)

Monday – Thursday: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Friday: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Phone: 0800 – 206 119 (Consultation and reporting of an incident)

Phone: 0732 – 783 877 (Regional Office for Upper Austria)

Mail: gaw@bka.gc.at

www.gleichbehandlungsanwaltschaft.at

Handout of the FH OÖ: Need Some Help – First orientation for problems around studying

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