Porterville College Sexual HARASSMENT Awareness

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature in the workplace or learning environment.

Sexual harassment does not always have to be specifically about sexual behavior or directed at a specific person.

For example, negative comments about women as a group may be a form of sexual harassment.

Sexual Harassment - California

Sexual harassment in California falls into 2 categories: “Quid pro quo” harassment, and “Hostile work environment” harassment. Both “quid pro quo” harassment and “hostile work environment” harassment require that sexual conduct be unwelcome.

Although sexual harassment laws do not usually cover teasing or offhand comments, these behaviors can also be upsetting and have a negative emotional effect.

What is the difference between sexual harassment and sexual assault?

Sexual harassment is a broad term, including many types of unwelcome verbal and physical sexual attention. Sexual harassment generally violates civil laws—you have a right to work or learn without being harassed—but in many cases is not a criminal act.

Sexual assault refers to sexual contact or behavior, often physical, that occurs without the consent of the victim. Some forms of sexual assault include:

  • Penetration of the victim’s body, also known as rape.
  • Attempted rape.
  • Forcing a victim to perform sexual acts, such as oral sex or penetration of the perpetrator’s body.
  • Fondling or unwanted sexual touching.
What can I do when I witness sexual harassment?

You may have heard the term bystander intervention to describe stepping in to help if you see someone who might be in danger or at risk for sexual assault.

If you choose to step in, you may be able to give the person being harassed a chance to get to a safe place or leave the situation.

Below are some of the steps you can take if you see someone being sexually harassed—just remember to C.A.R.E., and of course, keep your own safety in mind at all times.

  • Create a distraction. Do what you can to interrupt the harassment, or distract those taking part in the harassment. But remember to make sure that you aren’t putting yourself in danger by doing this. If someone seems like they could become violent, do not draw their attention.
  • Ask directly. Talk directly with the person who is being harassed. If they are being harassed at work or school, offer to accompany them anytime they have to meet with the harasser. If a friend is worried about walking alone to their car at night, offer to walk with them.
  • Refer to an authority. The safest way to intervene for both you and the person being harassed may be to bring in an authority figure. You can talk to a teacher, administrator, campus safety, school counselor, and they will often be willing to step in.
  • Enlist others. It can be hard to step in alone, especially if you are worried about your own safety or if you don’t think you will be able to help on your own. It may be a good idea to enlist the help of a friend or another bystander.
What are some effects of sexual harassment?

Experiencing sexual harassment may cause some survivors to face emotional, physical, or mental health concerns. Some of them might include:

Emotional effects:

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Humiliation
  • Shame
  • Powerlessness and loss of control

Mental health effects:

Physical effects

If you are being sexually harassed

If you are experiencing harassment in the workplace, know that you have options and support when you decide to come forward.

Put complaints in writing and keep records of each incident of harassment, noting the date and time and any people involved.

Inform your employer about the harassment, pursuant to the options and requirements set out in the sexual harassment policy.

Reporting to state or federal agency

File a complaint with the appropriate state or federal agency. You don’t need a lawyer to take this step.

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) is the state agency charged with protecting Californians from unlawful discrimination in employment. If there has been a violation of civil rights laws, DFEH can pursue damages on your behalf. You may file a complaint with DFEH online, by mail, or over the phone.

The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) enforces federal anti discrimination laws. Their website has information on filing complaints.

Complaints filed with DFEH or EEOC are automatically cross-filed with the other agency. You only need to submit one complaint.


If you are in danger or need help now, call 911. If you've experienced sexual harassment and are not in immediate danger, find services and get help on campus.

Important phone numbers
  • PC Campus Safety & Security 559-791-2440
  • PC Title IX Coordinator 559-791-2457
  • PC Safety & Security Manager 559-791-2459
  • PC Counseling 559-791-2329
  • PC Wellness Center 559-791-2212
  • Porterville Police Department 559-782-7400
  • Porterville District Attorney 559-782-9600
  • Sierra View Hospital 559-784-1110
  • California Dept Fair Employment & Housing 800-884-1684 (voice), 800-700-2320 (TTY)
  • Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 1-800-669-4000, 1-800-669-6820 (TTY for Deaf/Hard of Hearing callers only), 1-844-234-5122 (ASL Video Phone for Deaf/Hard of Hearing callers only)
Works cited

https://oag.ca.gov/workplace-sexual-harassment, https://statelaws.findlaw.com/california-law/california-sexual-assault-laws.html, https://www.rainn.org, https://www.dfeh.ca.gov, https://www.eeoc.gov, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=2&v=Ue3BTGW3uRQ&feature=emb_title, https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=ca0JYwsrS_s&feature=emb_title, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzN3CKaZZKk&feature=emb_title

Created By
Todd Dearmore


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