Discrimination or victimisation

You should not experience victimisation in any form at Uppsala University. The university will take immediate action once alerted to an individual or individuals being subjected to victimisation.

The word victimisation is often used as an umbrella term to describe harassment and sexual harassment.

The Discrimination Act

The purpose of the Discrimination Act is to combat discrimination and in other ways promote equal rights and opportunities regardless of sex, transgender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other belief, disability, sexual orientation or age. The Act details six forms of discrimination: direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, instructions to discriminate, inadequate accessibility, harassment and sexual harassment

Harassment

Harassment is described as verbal or non-verbal treatment that is unwanted and violates someone’s dignity. The Discrimination Act encompasses harassment that is linked to one of the grounds for discrimination.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment describe actions that violate someone’s dignity that are of a sexual nature, according to the Discrimination Act. Both women and men can be subjected to sexual harassment and both women and men can subject others to sexual harassment. Examples of sexual harassment include groping or other unwelcome touching of a sexual nature, unwelcome sexual insinuations, comments or suggestions, sexual jokes and pornographic images or texts.

It is the person subjected to harassment or sexual harassment that decides what is unwanted and what is offensive.

Bullying and victimisation

Bullying and victimisation are defined as acts that are experienced as violating or in another way undesirable by the person or persons who are subjected to them (Systematic Work Environment Management, AFS 2001:1). For example, in can include degrading treatment from a teacher or fellow student, or targeted insults. It can also include withholding information, slandering another person and being subjected to threats and violence.

If you have been subjected to victimisation

According to the Discrimination Act, the perpetrator must understand how the behaviour is perceived for it to be classified as harassment or sexual harassment. It is therefore imperative that the person being subjected to victimisation makes it clear that the behaviour is unpleasant and unwelcome. In certain circumstances the offensive nature of the behaviour may be so obvious that no comment is required from the victim.

If you feel you have been subjected to victimisation, the university has a statutory responsibility to investigate and, in applicable cases, take action that will lead to this behaviour ceasing.

Guidelines for dealing with cases of harassment (PDF) under the Discrimination Act constitutes guidelines for how the university deals with harassment and sexual harassment of an employee and/or a student at the university.

Advice if you feel subjected

  • Clearly say stop. If it is possible, confront the person. If it is difficult to say it in person, write them a message or inform them in some way that you do not like their behaviour.
  • You have the right to ask for help, support and information without giving your name.
  • Tell someone at your department or in your programme what is happening so they can guide you to the responsible employee.
  • You can also contact the ombudsman for students and PhD students.
  • Note the time and place, what happened, what was said, and how you reacted. This can be important in an eventual investigation.
  • Take part in the investigation and anti-victimisation measures that are initiated and accept the support that is offered to you.

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