Definitions of Abuse

Abuse can be defined as any behaviour by any person towards another, which a person knows or should have reasonably known, is unwelcome. This behaviour includes comments, conduct or gestures which are insulting, intimidating, humiliating, hurtful, degrading, or offensive to an individual and which creates an uncomfortable environment, or which might be expected to cause embarrassment, insecurity, discomfort, offence, or humiliation to another person including, but not limited to:

Threat: Declaration of an intention or a determination to inflict harm on another

Physical: Abuse involving contact that is intended to cause feelings of intimidation, pain, injury, or other physical suffering or harm

Intimidation: A deterrent usually in the form of communication or gesture that makes one afraid to try or do something

Verbal: Unwelcome remarks, jokes, innuendoes, or taunting about a person's body, sexual orientation, age, marital status, ethnic or racial origin, religion, etc.

Gestures: Leering or other suggestive/obscene mannerisms

Patronizing: Behaviour which undermines self-respect or working conditions

Visual: Displaying of sexually explicit, racist or other offensive or derogatory material, sexual, racial, ethnic or religious graffiti

Practical Jokes: Which cause awkwardness or embarrassment, and which endanger a person's safety or negatively affect one’s performance

Harassment: False accusations motivated by malice or mischief and intended to cause harm or embarrassment

Sexual Harassment: Conduct, comments, gestures or contact of a sexual nature that is likely to cause offence or humiliation, or that may, on reasonable grounds, be perceived as placing a condition of a sexual nature on employment or any opportunity for selection, training or advancement


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