Sexual Harassment: Definition, Types, Characteristics, and What to Do!

Sexual harassment is a crime that can harm other people or even traumatize the victim. Cases of sexual harassment are increasingly common, even though there are still many people who do not recognize their characteristics.

As a result, it is very difficult to prevent these actions, both experienced by oneself and by others. Knowing the types of sexual harassment can then be a form of self-protection. See a more complete explanation regarding violence and sexual harassment below.

Types of Sexual Harassment

According to Komnas Perempuan , sexual harassment actually refers to actions with sexual nuances which are then conveyed through physical contact or non-physical contact, which targets sexual body parts or someone’s sexuality. This action itself includes whistling, flirting, comments or remarks that have sexual overtones, showing pornographic materials and sexual desires, poking or touching body parts, movements or gestures of a sexual nature, so that later it results in discomfort, offense, or feeling humiliated, and possibly to the point of causing various health and safety problems.

Sexual harassment is not just about sex. At the heart of this problem is the abuse of power as well as authority, even though the perpetrator may try to convince the victim and himself that the harassing behavior he is actually committing is purely sexual attraction and romantic desire.

However, most sexual harassment itself is perpetrated by men against women. Apart from that, there are also cases of harassment of women towards men, and also with the same sex (both among men and women). According to its category, sexual harassment itself is divided into 5 types, namely:

1. Gender Harassment

Sexist statements and behavior that insult or demean women. Examples include derogatory comments, pictures or writing that are then degrading to women, obscene jokes and humor about sex or women in general.

2. Flirting Behavior

Sexual behavior that is then offensive, inappropriate, and unwanted. Examples include repeating unwanted sexual advances, forcing the opposite sex to have dinner, drink, or a date, sending incessant letters and phone calls after being rejected, and similar advances.

3. Sexual Bribery

Requests for sexual activity or other sex-related behavior with promises of return. This plan may be carried out overtly or subtly. Things like that also fall into the category of sexual harassment.

4. Sexual coercion

Coercion of sexual activity or other sex-related behavior with the threat of punishment. Examples include negative job evaluations, revocation of job promotions, and death threats. If you do receive such treatment, immediately report it to the people closest to you or give it to the authorities.

5. Sexual Offenses

Serious sexual violations (such as touching, tasting or forcibly grabbing) or sexual assault fall into the category of sexual harassment.

Types of Sexual Harassment Based on Behavior

According to their behavior, sexual harassment is then divided into 10 types, namely:

  1. Sexual comments about other people’s bodies
  2. Sexual invitation
  3. Sexual cues
  4. Sexual touch
  5. Sexual graffiti
  6. Sexual dirty joke
  7. Spread rumors about other people’s sexual activity
  8. Touching yourself sexually in front of other people
  9. Talking about own sexual activity in front of other people
  10. Showing pictures, stories, or various sexual objects.

Characteristics of Sexual Harassment

Below are some of the characteristics of sexual harassment that you need to know so you can act decisively when it happens around you, including:

  1. Touching your body for sexual purposes without your permission. Not only touching sensitive areas, someone who tries to embrace or hold hands without permission is included in the characteristics of sexual harassment.
  2. Often makes jokes about sex. Joking is allowed, but there are limits. If you start making jokes about other people’s body shapes, then it’s included in sexual harassment, you know!
  3. Catcalling or what is usually done by someone who is not known by asking someone out, wanting to get acquainted, and other motives.
  4. Inviting to have sex directly or implicitly, let alone forcing it in various ways, this is clearly included in sexual harassment.
  5. Someone who sticks his limbs together on purpose. This often happens when boarding public transportation that is full. If there is someone who is looking for an opportunity by attaching his body to another person under the pretext of a cramped situation. This also includes sexual harassment, so you need to be more alert. Immediately report to the officers around or ask for help from people around.
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The Difference between Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment

At first glance, sexual violence and sexual harassment are the same terms. In fact, sexual violence has a wider scope than sexual harassment. Meanwhile, sexual harassment is part of sexual violence. Then what’s the difference?

According to the World Health Organization or WHO, sexual violence is any behavior that is carried out by targeting a person’s sexuality or sexual organs without the consent of the person concerned, with an element of coercion or threat, including trafficking in women for sexual purposes, and forced prostitution.

As quoted from Komnas Perempuan itself, it divides forms of sexual violence into 15 types, including:

  1. Rape;
  2. Sexual Intimidation including Threats or attempted rape;
  3. Sexual harassment;
  4. Sexual Exploitation;
  5. Trafficking in Women for Sexual Purposes;
  6. Forced Prostitution;
  7. Sexual Slavery;
  8. Forced marriage, including hanging divorce;
  9. Forced Pregnancy;
  10. Forced Abortion;
  11. Forced contraception and sterilization;
  12. Sexual Torture;
  13. Inhuman and sexual punishment;
  14. Traditional practices with sexual nuances that harm or discriminate against women;
  15. Sexual control, including through discriminatory regulations based on morality and religion.

Perpetrators of sexual violence are not limited by gender or relationship with the victim. That means, sexual harassment can be perpetrated by men and women to anyone, including wives or husbands, girlfriends, parents, siblings, friends, close relatives, to strangers. In addition, this sexual violence itself can occur anywhere, including at home, workplace, school or campus.

As for sexual harassment, Komnas Perempuan later stated that sexual harassment was an act of sexual nuance, either through physical contact or non-physical contact. This action can make a person feel uncomfortable, offended, feel degraded, and eventually result in physical health problems and mental disorders.

The types of sexual harassment include gender harassment, obscene or seductive behavior, sexual coercion, inviting to have sex by promising something in return so as to offend feelings, as well as intentional physical touching with the aim of sexuality without consent.

Things to Do When Getting Sexual Harassment in the Office

Speak Frankly

In many cases of sexual harassment, especially those involving the work environment, the perpetrators of sexual harassment generally do not realize that their behavior is very offensive. If you are a victim of harassment, the first step is to let the guilty party know that you find their behavior to be offensive.

In most cases, this can solve the problem. If this has no effect, report it to HRD.

Telling the Perpetrator to Stop Performing the Action

You can try to tell the bully to stop, although this may be difficult. Tell the perpetrator clearly to stop doing this. If the bully ignores your verbal requests, and you don’t feel comfortable coming face to face with the bully, write a short letter stating that their behavior is offensive. If this doesn’t work either, then report it to the authorities or to your boss (if it happened at the office).

Looking for Workplace Policies

Check employee manuals, written policies, and so on that include sexual harassment policies. Then, follow the steps listed in the policy. Next, report to the person appointed as your superior to receive a sexual harassment complaint. If they don’t fix it, or if the designated person is the harasser, then go to the next designated person.

write it down

Even if the policy says to call or meet with someone, always put your complaint in writing. Describe in detail about sexual comments, sexual acts, to pornography, inappropriate jokes or e-mails , as well as anything you have experienced or witnessed that shows a difference in treatment from men to women or vice versa.

Many employees then report a hostile environment, intimidation or harassment without saying it is based on gender. Therefore, the best way is to write it down in detail.

Documenting Harassment Behavior

It’s important to document what happened and what you tried to do to stop it. Have enough evidence to be able to report it to company investigators, government agencies, or courts. Start by gathering as much detailed evidence as possible about the harassment. Then, be sure to save any harassing letters, photos, cards, or messages you receive.

Processing to Court

If a government agency then issues a warrant of attorney, you can bring a civil suit against the injuries you suffered as a result of sexual harassment. No need to show physical injuries. The most common injuries in cases of sexual harassment are the emotional wounds suffered by the victim.

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If the harassment case is successfully handled by the court, you can get remedies, including:

  1. Re-deployment, if you lose your job.
  2. Refunds, if you lose money or are not given a raise.
  3. Company requirements for implementing policies or training to then stop harassment.

Go to the Nearest Service Agency

Victims of violence are protected by the state. You can ask legal aid agencies in the nearest area to then protect and assist in resolving cases. In each district or city there is an Integrated Service Center for the Empowerment of Women and Children (P2TP2A).

Apart from that, there are also at least 310 legal aid institutions throughout Indonesia which then receive state funds to provide legal assistance to the public free of charge.

Case Recording

Data on cases of sexual violence in Indonesia, including rape, are not recorded properly. Don’t forget to record your reports and cases, for example to Komnas Perempuan. Once registered, you can also provide continuous updates regarding the progress of the case, so that other people can then learn from the case of sexual violence that you experienced.

Related Books

Sexual Harassment and Pedophilia: The Davido-CHaD Test as an Indication of Behavior

Each individual has unique and personal characteristics that can be imaged through pictures. It can be said, the image is a self-projection that represents every event that has been passed daily, even though in the end the image develops according to the period of human age. Children, as subjects, record various events, especially a trauma, and will recognize themselves, then make it happen in the form of pictures. This fact is the basis of the Davido-CHaD projection image test which is also used to indicate deviant behavior, including sexual harassment.

The book Sexual Harassment and Pedophilia: The Davido CHaD Test as an Indication of Behavior describes how this test works in a set of cases that rely on images from human memory. Traumas that are buried in the subconscious are revealed through a series of tests to break silence because of issues that are considered taboo or embarrassing by victims. They come from various backgrounds, continents, ages, genders, and occupations. Each individual expresses diversity in drawing, which then helps psychologists get a unique perspective from each individual.

Martial Arts Book For Beginners

Martial arts is a sport that has many fans. Various martial arts sports have sprung up, both those that were born and grew up on Indonesian soil itself, some that grew because they were introduced by foreign nations. Some of them managed to take a place in the hearts of the Indonesian people.

For those who are fond of martial arts, this book will be a productive friend, because it will invite us to get to know more closely, with several types of martial arts sports that currently exist and are developing in Indonesia. Such as karate, judo jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, muay thai, wing chun, kung fu, martial arts, Minangkabau martial arts, benjang, mepantigan, langga, kuntau, and mossak. Learning martial arts can not only make the body healthy and fit but can also be a means of self-defense.

Karate Project Management

Amin Leiman is a Dan 1 Shotokan Karate (SKIF, Tokyo, Japan) based in Los Angeles, California, USA. This senior project manager can communicate in Japanese, Mandarin, English and Indonesian. As an educator, he has been adjunct adjunct professor at the Shidler College of Business at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, Hawaii Pacific University, and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Discipline and high spirits have always been reflected in the founder and CEO of Bendino Premier Project Management Academy. Bendino Premier Project Management Academy is an educational center in the United States. Amin created a learning process for project managers and cross-breeding some knowledge: Karate Project Management, Karate Trading Management, Appreciative Inquiry: a Fresh Approach for Project Managers.


Martial arts

Pencak silat is one of the original martial arts from Indonesia. The techniques used in pencak silat are very diverse. In this book, the author tries to discuss it in an easy-to-understand language. Basic attitudes, stances, movement formation, attack techniques, and defense techniques are diskussed coherently in this book. This book also discusses the history and development of pencak silat in Indonesia as well as knowledge about competitions that are not widely known by readers.


This is the discussion on sexual harassment , starting from the types, characteristics, to what needs to be done when you receive an act of sexual harassment in the office. Hopefully all of these articles are useful!

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