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Why Do Harassers Harass?

Sexual harassment is not, primarily, an expression of sexual desire on the part of the harasser toward the victim. A harasser might be:

  • Trying to fit in with a peer group, e.g. “locker room talk,” “being one of the guys”
  • Consciously or subconsciously asserting power, dominance, or control over the victim, putting victims in “their place”
  • Attempting to coerce victims into acting a certain way, e.g. “don’t talk back,” “don’t ask questions,” accepting a less desirable schedule
Anyone, regardless of race, color, age, religion, sex, ancestry, could be a victim of harassment or discrimination. Those who are involved can be victims, bystanders, and in some cases, witnesses who are affected by the harassment.