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Harassment and sexual harassment

Lund University does not accept harassment or sexual harassment. Here students will find information about what they can do if they are subjected to, or witness behaviour they perceive to be, harassment or sexual harassment.

What is harassment and sexual harassment?

Harassment and sexual harassment are two forms of discrimination.

Harassment is conduct that violates a person’s dignity and that is associated with one of the grounds of discrimination.

The seven grounds of discrimination are:

  • sex
  • transgender identity or expression
  • ethnicity
  • religion or other belief
  • disability
  • sexual orientation
  • age.

For example, this can take the form of ridiculing someone or making demeaning generalisations, mocking someone or deliberately complicating their situation.

Sexual harassment is conduct of a sexual nature that offends someone’s dignity. It can take the form of comments and words, groping or indiscreet stares. Unwelcome compliments, invitations and innuendos can also constitute sexual harassment.

It is the person exposed to the behaviour who determines what is unwanted, unwelcome or offensive.

If you feel subjected to harassment or sexual harassment

Lund University has procedures for how to handle matters of harassment and sexual harassment.

If you are a student and feel that you have been subjected to harassment or sexual harassment, you can turn to the head of your department or another employee you trust.

Employees at Lund University have a responsibility to inform the head of department concerned. You can also turn to your students' union, your student health and safety representative or to the student ombudsman for advice and help.

What happens when you file a report

The head of department is responsible for ensuring that an investigation is launched. You are given the opportunity to recount what happened, who was involved and your experiences. If you have saved email messages, SMS or other correspondence with the person you feel has harassed you, this material can be attached to the report for investigation.

The aim of the investigation is to determine the course of events and to assess whether what happened falls under the Discrimination Act’s definitions of harassment or sexual harassment.

If the event is deemed to be harassment or sexual harassment, the head of department concerned is responsible for ensuring that the offensive behaviour ceases, and for preventing similar behaviour from occurring in future.

Nobody at the University, whether an individual employee or student, is permitted to subject you to reprisals for having reported harassment.

A student who subjects another student or an employee to harassment or sexual harassment may be accountable to the disciplinary board.

Anonymous reports

If you wish to report a matter anonymously, you may do so. In that case, the head of department can work preventively and generally with measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future. However, the University cannot investigate and pursue a case against a reported individual, or group of individuals, on the basis of an anonymous report.

Who is responsible?

Lund University is responsible for working systematically and preventively with active measures against discrimination. Lund University’s vice-chancellor has the overall responsibility for the work and study environment. The direct responsibility is delegated to the faculty deans and the heads of department.

In addition, all employees and students at Lund University have a responsibility to contribute to a positive work environment, free from harassment and sexual harassment for both students and staff.

Available support 

Don’t delay seeking help if you feel subjected to harassment. As a student, you are to feel safe contacting staff members if you feel harassed.

The absolutely most important thing is that you know you are always entitled to help, advice and support if you feel harassed. For example, you can turn to the Student Health Centre, your student health and safety representative, student ombudsman, or your student union.

More about support for students with problems in their study situation

Offensive behaviour

You may experience a behaviour as offensive even if it is not linked to one of the grounds on which discrimination occurs listed in the legislation, or it is not of a sexual nature. Raise the issue with your head of department, who is the line manager responsible for the work and study environment. You can also turn to your student health and safety representative for advice and support.

Other forms of discrimination

For information on other forms of discrimination and how you can proceed if you feel discriminated against at Lund University, please refer to the website of the Equality Ombudsman.

To the Equality Ombudsman’s website