Bilkent University is committed to providing a positive and safe learning environment, and a workplace which is free from all forms of sexual harassment. Through the establishment of the Sexual Harrassment and Assault Reporting and Prevention Unit, Bilkent University demonstrates its determination to increase awareness of the rights and responsibilities of individuals in relation to these behaviors; to establish clear policy guidelines and structural avenues for reporting and investigating offenses; to take disciplinary actions and/or initiate appropriate legal mechanisms against persons found to be responsible for any form of harassment; to educate students, staff and faculty about appropriate conduct and structural avenues for addressing sexual harassment.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature, either explicit or implied, which may be verbal, non-verbal or physical. Either a single act or an ongoing series of acts may constitute sexual harassment. What constitutes sexual harassment is not determined by the intent of assailant, but the effect it has on the victim.
Online sexual harassment is the use of digital information and communication technologies to harass, intimidate, threaten or otherwise harm an individual. Online sexual harassment can be perpetuated by both individuals and groups, and can consist of a single act or a series of acts. The ability of perpetrators to conceal their identity can heighten the targeted person’s insecurity. As digital technologies pervade all aspects of a victim’s personal space and harmful material has the potential to spread virally or remain in circulation indefinitely, the misuse of such technologies for the purposes of sexual harassment, humiliation or abuse is considered serious misconduct and, in some cases, criminal behavior.
Sexual assault is criminal sexual conduct which occurs without consent and may or may not involve physical force. This may range from uninvited and unwelcome sexually explicit behaviors to the violation of a person’s bodily integrity.
What is Consent?
Consent is freely given, clear and voluntary permission for a sexual act before, up to, and during the act. When considering whether the threshold of consent has been met, it is important to consider the following factors:
• Consent may be withdrawn at any time, and an act which occurs after the withdrawal of consent is non-consensual.
• Consent to prior sexual activity does not imply ongoing consent to that activity or to any other future activity.
• Consent cannot be given where there is intimidation, coercion or an implied threat.
• Consent cannot be given by a person who is incapacitated or impaired to the extent that they temporarily or permanently lack the ability to make informed choices. The extent to which such impairment impedes consent is evaluated according to the circumstances of each individual case.
Unwanted sexual contact can feel threatening and cause confusion, helplessness and fear. Such traumatic threats commonly induce a “freeze” response (tonic immobility) in the victim. For this reason, silence (the absence of verbal objection) or perceived compliance (the absence of physical resistance) is not adequate grounds for establishing consent. Consent must be affirmative, enthusiastic and ongoing.
Consent may never be given by minors.
Incapacitation – the state in which a person is temporarily or permanently impaired to the extent that they lack the ability to make informed choices, e.g. to give consent. Impairment could be due to disability, psychological or physical illness, intoxication by drugs and alcohol, or other causes.
Who we are:
Head of Unit – Sandrine Bergès
Member of Unit – Zülfiye Yılmaz
Member of Unit – Jennie Lane
Contact person – Hale Öklü
What we do:
Answer your questions about sexual harassment or assault harassment
Provide immediate care and psychological support in case of sexual harassment or assault
If you wish to do so, enable you to make a complaint following a clear, transparent and confidential mechanism
Provide training to students, staff and faculty to prevent sexual assault or harassment
Inform the Bilkent community through a seminar series, to enable further understanding of the conditions that make harassment and assault possible.
- If you need urgent help: Call: 1666 (Health Center)
- If you need to report a case of assault or harassment to the University, there are several ways you can register a complaint or make an inquiry, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
• or, phone the SHARP Unit (03122902245)