For the accused

When you are told that you have been behaving inappropriately, stop the unwanted behaviour. After this, try to resolve the situation with the parties concerned and to understand their point of view. If you have behaved inappropriately, apologise.

Be constructive when resolving the situation. It is a good idea to resolve the situation as soon as possible in order to get the unwanted behaviour to stop and to avoid other problems. Even if you believe that you have not been guilty of bullying or inappropriate behaviour, do not disparage the feelings of the person making the complaint – simply stop the behaviour described as inappropriate. Respect other people’s experience and feelings. Everyone has the right to their own feelings and to a safe space. What matters is focusing on resolving the situation.

It is, of course, possible that another person considers certain behaviour to be bullying even if it factually is not. For this reason, too, it is good to resolve the matter so that all parties would be aware of the situation. (Check the definitions to see what is not considered bullying.)

The person accused of harassment has the right to be heard and to present their own view on the matter. It is a good idea for the accused person to get in touch with the harassment contact persons or some other third party themselves. You have the right to have the matter resolved in an objective and neutral atmosphere in which an accusation does not automatically make you guilty.

If a person is considered guilty of harassment, they are primarily responsible for the harassment themselves. They may have to answer for their actions in court or pay damages to the person they harassed.

Last modified: Monday, 6 April 2020, 3:17 PM