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What Behavior Qualifies as Sexual Misconduct?

Sexual misconduct can occur in many ways, but it usually involves unwelcome advances and requests for sexual intercourse. However, verbal and physical harassment can also be sexual. Our sexual harassment attorneys in San Diego want to highlight the behavior that constitutes sexual misconduct, which includes many of the overt and subtle examples that exist.

 

What is Sexual Misconduct?

Sexual misconduct is violence that someone exerts over other people for sexual purposes. It occurs without consent, and misconduct can take many different forms. Without gaining permission, the perpetrator is legally responsible for any pain and trauma they inflict on victims.

 

Types of Sexual Misconduct

Any unwelcome sexual gestures are considered harassment. You may be wondering if you can sue if you’re the victim of a sexual assault. For example, hostile work environments are often the result of someone refusing to perform sexual favors for a boss or manager. Many victims will even lose their job if they reject any sexual coercion. Also, quid pro quos are forms of sexual misconduct. This is when someone exchanges sexual favors with a supervisor to earn a promotion.

 

Sexual violence is a more severe and extreme level of misconduct. It involves non-consensual sexual contact, such as unwelcome touching of the genitals, kissing, and rape. Domestic violence and stalking are also extreme forms of sexual misconduct.

 

Subtle Forms of Misconduct

There are several reasons why sexual harassment victims are less likely to speak out. Many victims of sexual misconduct are often not immediately aware that it’s happening. For example, inappropriate comments or catcalling often go unnoticed or unpunished. However, these are subtle forms of sexual misconduct that occur very often. Here are several more examples:

 

  • Comments about someone’s (often an employee’s) appearance
  • Discussions about someone’s sex life in front of other people
  • Questions about someone’s sex life
  • Dissemination of sexually explicit photos of someone
  • Unsolicited messages dealing with sexual matters
  • Sexually suggestive gestures
  • Jokes that contain sexual topics
  • Distribution of sexual gifts
  • Groping or unwanted groping

 

Keep in mind that hostile work environments often involve a pattern of misconduct by employees. The harasser can be a supervisor or someone who works in an entirely different department. However, people in a position of power should be held accountable for their behavior.

 

Other Facts About Sexual Misconduct

Here are a few other facts you should know about sexual misconduct, including information on different scenarios.

 

  • Anyone can be a victim. People often assume it’s the men harassing women in cases involving sexual misconduct. However, many incidents of women harassing men (same-sex harassment can also occur).
  • Misconduct can involve clients/customers. Sexual misconduct in the workplace is widespread. However, employers also have a responsibility to protect employees from outside harassment.

 

The crux of sexual misconduct is when someone fails to gain consent for sexual behavior. Consent means the mutual agreement between two people to engage in sexual activity.

 

Call HHJ Trial Attorneys in San Diego Today

Our attorneys are focused on helping you work through a sexual assault case. To protect yourself after sexual misconduct, the best thing you can do is hire an attorney. Harassment and sexual violence are unacceptable, so you need to take action against your perpetrator. You need to send them a clear message about their behavior and how they treat others. Schedule an appointment with us today, and we can begin representing your case immediately.

 

Testimonial from Xuan, Satisfied Client 
Elliott has always been the first person I consult when anyone in my life needs legal advice. He gives up so much of his time to offer his professional opinion and makes you feel valued and understood.

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