Together for a respectful and dignified study and work environment
Together against sexism and sexual harassment
The aim of Comenius University Bratislava is to support a safe, inclusive and respectful working and study environment. The effort to prevent and oppose every form of sexual harassment is related to this. The prohibition of sexual harassment is also contained in the Code of Ethics of Comenius University (Art. 68), according to which the committing of “verbal and non-verbal sexual harassment, physical behaviour of a sexual nature and other harassment and coercion, the intent or effect of which is or may be to violate the dignity of a person and which creates an intimidating, humiliating, disrespectful, hostile or offensive environment, or abuses a position of authority” is unacceptable.
It is up to all of us to behave in line with the Code of Ethics and to take part in cultivating the academic environment.
The resolution of cases of sexual harassment at Comenius University is regulated by the Directive of the Rector of Comenius University Bratislava on the Resolution of Cases of Sexual Harassment at Comenius University Bratislava, in force from 6 October 2022.
This page provides basic information on the issue of sexual harassment, as well as recommendations on how to proceed in the event that you have come across sexual harassment at the university. You’ll find the following information on it:
- what sexual harassment, sexual coercion, unwanted sexual attention and sexism are,
- how sexual harassment is manifested in the university environment,
- what to do if you are facing sexual harassment,
- who you can turn to when dealing with sexual harassment,
- what the process is for reporting sexual harassment,
- what to do if you are aware of sexual harassment taking place,
- the most frequent questions related to sexual harassment at the university,
- where to seek support services outside the university.
According to §2a par. 5 of the Anti-discrimination Act, sexual harassment is “verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, the intent or effect of which is or may be to violate the dignity of a person and which creates an intimidating, humiliating, disrespectful, hostile or offensive environment.”
Sexual harassment is a negative social phenomenon that also occurs in the university environment. It disproportionately affects women due to persistent gender stereotypes, but men also encounter it. The hierarchical structure of the university environment – the dependence of students on the teaching and administrative staff – is a risk factor that limits the ability of students to immediately defend themselves against unwanted behaviour. Highly hierarchical employment relationships similarly make it difficult for male and female employees to report sexual harassment.
If you have experienced or are experiencing sexual harassment, one time or repeatedly, or if you have had an unpleasant experience and are not sure whether it was sexual harassment, you can contact one of the University’s trusted persons.
CU students and employees may turn to trusted persons in the event of sexual harassment occurring on the CU campus or in connection with their studies or employment.
Currently, two Trusted persons appointed by the rector of CU work at CU.
Select which of the trusted persons you want to contact and write them an email (you do not have to include any details about what happened in it). You can report sexual harassment both as a harassed person and as a witness to harassing behaviour.
If you are a witness to harassing behaviour, you can use the 5D method, designed for cases of sexual harassment in public:
I am experiencing sexual harassment, but I fear that if I report it, it will jeopardize my studies/job.
If you need to discuss your experience of sexual harassment with someone outside CU, you can contact one of the following organisations, which offer various forms of free assistance.