definition of harassment

Harassment means to mistreat, annoy or punish and can be used in relation to a person or an animal. Consequently, harassment is all conduct with an offensive and violent component.

Different forms of harassment

Sexual harassment normally occurs in the workplace and is considered a form of violence and discrimination.

Some school-age children are abused by their peers. This phenomenon is known internationally as bullying. This type of aggression is based on contempt, ridicule and disrespect.

Victims of workplace harassment or mobbing suffer pressure, contempt and humiliation. This form of harassment can be done in various ways: attacks on the worker's private life, spreading false rumors, organizational measures that harm the harassed, etc.

If an animal is mistreated, for example with totally unnecessary beatings or punishments, it is also a specific type of harassment. Experts in this type of behavior consider that cruelty towards animals is an indicator of other forms of violence.

In recent years, protocols have been put in place to prevent and care for victims of harassment. It should not be forgotten, on the other hand, that offensive language is also an instrument that can undermine personal dignity.

From a legal perspective

In the field of law, it is intended that the laws give an effective response to social realities. In this sense, the different forms of harassment have created the need to establish a legal framework to combat them. Thus, the laws contemplate this type of situation with several objectives: to protect the dignity of people, apply the principle of equality and non-discrimination, the right to privacy and the right to integrity.

Harassment or sexual harassment must be understood in the context of a macho culture

Sexual harassment of women hurts their emotional stability, their family environment and their relationships with other people. Faced with this situation, some governments have launched advertising campaigns to make the population aware of these undesirable behaviors.

It must be borne in mind that sexual harassment is not an isolated behavior, but is usually part of a culture and a macho mentality.

Normally, sexual harassment implies that there is a situation of subordination and in this way whoever harasses is usually a boss or superior who uses his position to sexually harass a worker. As a general guideline, harassment or harassment produces threats, attacks and intimidation.

Photos: Fotolia - Zinkevych / JKOP82

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