Sexual Harassment Policy Update

The Sexual Harassment Policy was revised effective January 18, 2011. The new policy is available here.

What is Sexual Harassment?

Sexual harassment can occur whenever somebody says or does something sexually related that you don’t want them to say or do, regardless of who it is.  Whether such unwelcome sexual behavior is sexual harassment depends on the circumstances in which the behavior occurs.  For example:

When someone
  • Talks about their sexual experiences.
  • Asks you to talk about yours.
  • Tells sexual jokes, innuendoes, and stories, or comments (about your clothes or body, or someone else’s).

Such behavior can constitute sexual harassment if it interferes with your work or educational performance, or creates an intimidating or hostile environment for your employment, education, on-campus living, or participation in a University activity.


In addition, sexual harassment may also occur if someone sexually touches you without your consent, or threatens, pressures, or forces you to have sex or allow them to sexually touch you– including in exchange for a job, a raise, to retain a job, to get a better grade, for other special treatment, or to escape physical violence.

For a more precise definition of sexual harassment, see section II-4.1b(2) of the University’s Sexual Harassment Policy.

Get Help Now

  • If you believe that you or another person may be a victim of sexual harassment, the following resources will help you... [read more]
  • Emergency: In case of emergency (e.g., sexual assault) or other types of harassment, contact the 24-hour Rape Crisis Line at 335-6000 or dial 911.

Sexual Harassers

Sexual harassers can include (but aren’t limited to) professors, teaching assistants, research assistants, supervisors, co-workers, classmates, other students, acquaintances, friends, partners, dates, and strangers.

A sexual harasser may be anyone who automatically has power over you because of their position of employment, or other people who do not have an official position but try to take power and control over you by threats, coercion, force or other deliberate actions of a sexual nature.

What makes someone a sexual harasser isn’t based on what they do for a living, their status as a high profile person, or where they hang out. What makes someone a sexual harasser is behavior, (including words and actions) that uses sex to be disrespectful, hurtful, embarrassing, humiliating, intimidating or frightening to you or another person.

2006 Sexual Harassment Report

The Council on the Status of Women (CSW) surveyed more than 11,000 students, faculty, staff, and community members on the subject of sexual harassment and released a report called "Sexual Harassment and Unwelcomed Behavior at the University of Iowa" in January 2006. Former UI President David Skorton responded to the report... [read more]


Print PDF copies of the sexual harassment campaign media:

sexual harassment poster Daily Iowan ad Residence hall handout