Knowledge and Perception of Sexual Harassment in an Institution of Higher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa
Objective: To find out if Sexual Harassment existed at a higher institute of learning and explore perception of sexual harassment in the university community and to make recommendations based on the findings.
Methodology: This was a cross sectional study that collected both primary and secondary data. The participants included 913 students, 90 academic staff and 97 non-academic staff who were selected from within the university community. Questionnaires were administered in class for the students and individually with staff members after obtaining informed consent. Secondary data records from 1996 to 2006 on issues to do with sexual harassment from Registrar's department, Deans of students, counselling center, at the university clinic and records from staff and students were collected.
Results: The study found that the majority of the participant (54.1%) knew what sexual harassment was. It was Further found that Fifty seven (57%) of the respondents acknowledged that Sexual Harassment does occur at the university with more females indicating the occurrence of Sexual harassment acts. There was however a discrepancy in the understanding of what constitutes sexual harassment with the students being the least to identify sexual harassment acts. The study also revealed that that more female; students and nonacademic staff identified more forms of sexual harassment acts and behaviour than the male participants.
Conclusion: It could be concluded that Sexual harassment may be a problem at the university. However, despite the varying responses on perceptions of the occurrence of sexual harassment, a university sexual harassment policy should be formulated and implemented at the university in order to deter the would be harassers and protect the potential victim