What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment occurs when a person feels he/she needs to submit to sexual advances in order to avoid negative consequences regarding academics, work or campus life.
Sexual harassment is inconsistent with the University’s commitments to excellence and to a community in which mutual respect is a core value as articulated in the Virginia Tech Principles of Community. Sexual harassment is a violation of both the Student Code of Conduct and University Policy 1025.
Sexual harassment can be unwelcome, repeated or severe:
- Unwanted touching
- Sexually suggestive messages, letters, posters, or pictures
- Comments about a person’s clothing, his or her body, or personal appearance
- Sexual advances or propositions
- Repeated requests for dates
- Pressure for sexual activity.
These are just a few examples. If you are experiencing other behaviors, they may still be considered sexual harassment.
What to do if You are Experiencing Sexual Harassment
If you or someone you know has been sexually harassed, please know that assistance is available. Virginia Tech encourages all community members to seek help and report incidents of sexual harassment.
- Tell others about the sexual harassment and ask them to assist you.
- If you are able, avoid being alone with those who are sexually harassing you.
- Note escalating behavior. Trust your instincts and report the behavior, especially if you think that it’s getting worse, and / or your personal safety is endangered.
- You will find more personal security tips on the Virginia Tech Police website.
- Help is available from many resources on and off campus. To learn what resources are available and what they can offer, go to our Get Help page.
- Consider talking with a counselor who is trained to assist you with the emotional impact of sexual harassment. You can contact the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech, 540-231-7806, the Virginia Tech Cook Counseling Center, 540-231-6557, or the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley, 540-639-1123.
- To assist you in accessing resources and understanding reporting options, contact an advocate from the Women’s Center at Virginia Tech, 540-231-7806, or from the Women’s Resource Center of the New River Valley, 540-639-1123.
- You have a right to stay in school. The Women’s Center at Virginia Tech has resources to help you get through tough semesters, or options if you are considering taking a break from campus. If you are having trouble attending classes or completing your academic assignments, papers, and/or exams, contact the Dean of Students Office, 540-231-3787, or the Cook Counseling Center, 540-231-6557, about academic relief.
- If you are or have been harassed by a student, consider making a report to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator, 540-231-8064. Sexual harassment violates the Student Code of Conduct. Visit our Title IX at Virginia Tech page to learn more about the Title IX investigation process and your rights and responsibilities in that process.
- If you are, or have been, harassed by a professor, staff person, or other employee of the university, consider making a report to the Equity and Access office in Human Resources, 540-231-2010.