Universities do not deal properly with harassment – Survey

According to current affairs show Aktuaalne kaamera, the first survey looking at the handling of harassment in Estonian universities, including that based on gender as well as sexual harassment, has found deficiencies in procedures or safeguards, reports ERR.

The survey was conducted at six public universities in the country and polled 1,500 people online, according to ERR. However, the sample was reportedly not representative enough to make a generalisation about the entire student population, but nonetheless revealed most respondents had experienced harassment at some point.

“Gender-based harassment is often linked to gender inequality, and often also to discrimination,” said the study’s director, Ehti Järv. “With sexual harassment, it’s easier to spot since it often involves some form of physical contact,” Järv added. Harassment has an inherent power-based relationship, Järv noted, and the study demonstrated that the perpetrators of gender-based harassment and discrimination were predominantly male staff members at the higher education institutions. However, sexual harassment was more the preserve of students, the report said.
Full report on the ERR site