The most frequently asked questions related to sexual harassment

I am experiencing sexual harassment, but I fear that if I report it, it will jeopardize my studies/job.

The protection of personal data of all parties involved – the reporting and harassed persons, as well as the persons who allegedly committed the harassment – is a priority when dealing with cases of sexual harassment. Obviously, if you file an official report, at a certain point in the investigation, the accused person will learn your identity. If, however, you feel discriminated against for reporting a case or being witness to a case, report this to a trusted person, who will then forward the suspicion of unjustified punishment to the CU Rector’s Internal Control Unit. At the same time, the trusted person, at his/her own initiative, will contact the whistle-blowers one month after the case has been closed in order to find out whether there has been an unjustified retaliation. Of course, it is possible to contact the trusted person in this matter at any time later.


What if someone contrives an accusation against me and damages my reputation?

Each case reported will be properly investigated. According to the Criminal Code, a deliberately false accusation may be punishable as the offence of defamation (§ 373) or as the offence of false accusation (§ 345). 


If I agree to testify in a case of sexual harassment in my surroundings, can I remain anonymous?

From the point of witness credibility, it is important that a testimony not be made anonymously. Witnesses are, however, protected against unjustified punishment by the Anti-Discrimination Act, as are the reporting persons and persons who have been sexually harassed. Thus, if you experience discrimination because you testified in a sexual harassment case, you can contact a trusted person, who will refer the matter to the Internal Control Unit of the CU Rector’s Office.


The harassment by the teacher happened in the café, where he called me in for a consultation. Do I have the right to complain even though I agreed to the meeting and the harassment did not happen on campus?

Even though the harassment did not happen on campus, it did occur in connection with the study environment. Since the harasser was your teacher, your case falls under the competence of the faculty/university authorities. The fact that you agreed to meet at a café doesn’t mean you agreed to being harassed.