The University's standpoint
The University is firmly committed to creating and maintaining an environment for staff and students which is free from all forms of harassment/discrimination. Hence, the University would not tolerate sexual harassment. The University endeavours to fight against harassment and would discipline the harassers, if necessary.
What is Sexual Harassment?
Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature in which a reasonable person would anticipate that the person being harassed would be offended, humiliated or intimidated. It includes any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favours, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.
Examples of Sexual Harassment
- A classmate/ colleague sends you a pornographic email, which make you feel offended.
- Your lecturer uses sexually suggestive cartoons in teaching a subject that is not related to sex, consequently you feel offended.
- Your supervisor asks you questions of a sexual nature, as a result you feel humiliated.
- Your boss offers you a promotion in return for your sexual favours, for that reason you feel humiliated.
There is another definition of sexual harassment: A sexually harasses B if A engages in a conduct of sexual nature, which creates a sexually hostile or intimidating work environment for B. For example, A posts up pornographic posters in his room that embarrasses his secretary who needs to enter his room frequently.
What is Not Sexual Harassment?
A conduct that is not unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature is not sexual harassment. Hence, conduct of a sexual nature but is welcome, or unwelcome conduct of a non-sexual nature is not sexual harassment.
Examples of what is Not Sexual Harassment
- Mutual flirtation between two students.
- Hugs or kisses which are not unwelcome between friends.
The Sex Discrimination Ordinance provides that sexual harassment in the education field is unlawful. Therefore, committing sexual harassment will incur legal liability on the harasser.
How to Deal with Sexual Harassment?
Tell the harasser that the behaviour is unwelcome and must be stopped immediately. Don't ignore the behaviour as it might be taken as tacit consent.
Keep a record
Write down the details of the events, including the dates, times, location and witnesses, as well as your reactions and feelings.
Consult your supervisor, head of department, Equal Opportunity Adviser, student counsellor, hall warden, the Equal Opportunity Unit or any other supervisory personnel with whom you feel comfortable. This person will support you and may act as a mediator between you and the respondent.
If mediation and other informal measures could not resolve your problem, you can formally lodge a written complaint with the Vice-Chancellor. The latter will refer the complaint to the Equal Opportunity Officer who will then follow the relevant procedures to investigate the case.
COUNSELLING AND SUPPORT SERVICES ON CAMPUS
The University's policy and procedures for sexual harassment can be viewed at the website of the Equal Opportunity Unit: http://www.eounit.hku.hk
Individual Counselling, Consultation and Support Services
The Centre of Development and Resources for Students provides a wide range of support and resources for students to have a safe and diverse student life. Its Counselling and Person Enrichment section provides individual counselling, consultation and support services to students in need.
Tel: 3917 8388
For enquiries and lodging a complaint
Contact the Equal Opportunity Unit,
Tel: 3917 5115
Enquiries relating to equal opportunity are welcome as well.
ENQUIRIES OUTSIDE CAMPUS
Enquiries and complaints can also be directed to
the Hong Kong Equal Opportunities Commission,
Tel: 2511 8211