Myths and Facts on Sexual Harassment

MYTH: Ignoring sexual harassment puts a stop to the behavior.

FACT: Many people who experience sexual harassment tend to ignore it at first, hoping to discourage the harasser. Unfortunately, however, a lack of protest usually encourages the harasser by giving him or her the impression that the victim is a “safe” one, or that it is alright with the victim.

MYTH: Individuals who harass must be punished.

FACT: Individuals accused of harassment are entitled to fair and equitable treatment as stipulated in the formal complaint procedures of the UP Implementing Rules and Regulations on the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995. In responding to harassment, remember that policies and human rights legislations are meant to prevent rather than punish.

MYTH: Sexual harassment complaints are generally false or unjustified, motivated by vengeance or spite.

FACT: Although false charges can occur, they are rare. The complaint procedure involves a just process to protect the innocent by weeding out false complaints. The reality is that, too often, the sexual harassment goes unreported. It takes courage to speak out against sexual harassment because society’s traditional response has often been to blame the victim.