The 7 Types Of Harassment And Their Characteristics


More and more cases of harassment are coming to light, in most of which the victims have been the target of a series of humiliating behaviors carried out by another person known as the aggressor or harasser.

But harassment can take many forms and occur in a wide variety of contexts. So throughout this article we will talk about the different types of harassment as well as the main motivations of the harassers and the consequences for the victim(s).

What is harassment?

According to the dictionary of the Royal Academy of Language, in its latest version, the concept “harassment” refers, among other things, to the action of “chasing, without giving respite or rest, an animal or a person”, as well as the act of “insistently pressuring someone with discomfort or requirements.”

From these meanings we can consider harassment as conduct of an offensive and disruptive nature in which the harassed person experiences feelings of anguish and discomfort.

For behavior to be considered harassment, it must involve an imbalance of power between the people involved. That is, between harasser and harassed. Furthermore, these behaviors must be repeated over time, triggering serious consequences for the harassed, both physical and psychological.

Therefore, the two main characteristics that we must take into account when judging behavior as harassment are:

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The 7 types of harassment

There are different types of behaviors that can be considered harassment and are legally considered as such. These types of harassment are the following.

1. Bullying or bullying

One of the best-known types of bullying that has been occurring the most in recent years is bullying. This may also be known as school bullying or school abuse.

Bullying consists of any type of psychological, verbal or physical abuse or aggression carried out within the school environment, although not necessarily within the classrooms. That is, for it to be considered bullying, there must be a relationship that implies that both minors share the school space.

This type of school abuse is distinguished because the bully repeatedly intimidates the victim, which implies an abuse of power as long as it is carried out by an aggressor or a stronger group (although this strength is only perceived by the victim).

The consequences of this abuse can be both physical and psychological. Among which are included:

The people most at risk of suffering bullying tend to be either minors with some type of functional diversity, or those who are perceived as different by others.

2. Workplace harassment or mobbing

Workplace harassment or mobbing consists of a form of abuse that occurs within the workspace

This harassment, which can be carried out by one or more people, occurs especially on a psychological level through behaviors such as ridicule, threats, spread of false rumors, slights or separating the victim from the rest of the group.

Despite what was mentioned above, There is a possibility that bullying may lead to violent behavior thus considering it a case of mobbing with aggression.

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As a consequence, the workplace becomes a powerful source of stress that can become chronic and even trigger post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

3. Psychological harassment

Also known as moral harassment, this type of harassment consists of humiliating behaviors that threaten the dignity and moral integrity of the person with the aim of unbalancing them psychologically.

In most cases, the behaviors can be so subtle that not even the victim is aware of them. The harasser exerts a negative influence on the victim through lies, words or defamations, as well as by distorting reality

Initially, bullying generates a feeling of instability in the victim who ends up losing confidence both in herself and in others, generating a feeling of helplessness and anxiety that can lead to depression and suicide.

4. Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment refers to any type of intimidating or coercive behavior of a sexual nature.

These types of attacks can be physical, verbal or non-verbal and include:

  • Acts of physical violence, touching or unwanted approaches for the victim.
  • Comments or appeals to the victim’s physical appearance or private life, as well as alleged compliments or compliments.
  • Gestures of a sexual nature and whistles.

All of these behaviors can have different degrees. From slightly annoying behavior for the harassed person, to serious abuse with the aim of leading to a possible sexual act.

5. Physical harassment or stalking

In fifth place is physical harassment, which consists of constantly and invasively pursuing the victim with the aim of establish contact against the will of this

The origin of this type of harassment usually lies in some type of obsession that the harasser develops towards the other person, carrying out behaviors such as:

  • Spy on the victim
  • Chase her.
  • Make phone calls or attempts to contact her.
  • Threaten her
  • Violent behavior towards the harassed person.
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6. Cyberbullying or cyberstalking

Also known as virtual or cyber bullying, it is the most contemporary of all types of bullying. In it, the harassing person or group uses digital media or social networks to perpetrate a series of personal offensives spread of confidential information or false rumors.

The main motivation of a cyberbully is to cause discomfort and psychological and emotional distress in the victim.

  • Related article: “Cyberbullying: analyzing the characteristics of virtual harassment”

7. Real estate harassment

Finally, one of the lesser-known types of harassment is real estate harassment. In this case, they are those behaviors carried out by the owners of a home or property with the purpose of the tenants leaving the home or terminating the rental contract against their will.

These behaviors can range from cutting off water, electricity or gas supplies; to the refusal to carry out repairs to the home or cause intentional damage to it.