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Harassment and Victimisation

As well as discrimination the Equality Act also specifically protects you from harassment and victimisation due to your gender identity.

Harassment is defined as:  “unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual.”

Harassment exists whether the victim complains or not and the person complaining does not have to possess the protected characteristic in order to be a victim of harassment.

A common misconception in this area is that as long as the harasser meant it as a joke and the victim laughed along, then no harassment took place.  This is completely untrue.  Often victims laugh along in an attempt to reduce further abuse and others who are not directly involved may also suffer.

Victimisation is: poor treatment in retaliation for exercising one’s rights under the Equality Act, either by filing or supporting a complaint or asserting a right.

These protections are based on the understanding that all people regardless of any protected characteristic are entitled to live a life both at work and in public that is free from abuse and poor treatment.