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Types of Harassment

It is a priority of Cosumnes River College to prevent and respond to all forms of harassment, including bullying, psychological harassment, racial harassment, religious harassment, stalking, mobbing, hazing, and backlash.


Bullying is physical and psychological harassing behavior perpetrated against an individual, by one or more persons. Bullying can occur on the playground, in school, on the job, or any other place.

Workplace bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators that takes one or more of the following forms:

  • Verbal abuse
  • Offensive conduct/behaviors (including nonverbal) which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating
  • Work interference (sabotage) which prevents work from getting done

Psychological Harassment

Psychological harassment is humiliating or abusive behavior that lowers a person's self-esteem or causes them torment. This can take the form of verbal comments, actions, or gestures. Workplace mobbing is considered psychological harassment.

Racial Harassment

Racial harassment is the targeting of an individual because of their race or ethnicity. The harassment includes words, deeds, and actions that are specifically designed to make the target feel degraded due to their race of origin or ethnicity.

Religious Harassment

Religious harassment is verbal, psychological, or physical harassment used against targets because they choose to practice a specific religion. Religious harassment can also include forced and involuntary conversions.


Stalking is the unauthorized following and surveillance of an individual, to the extent that the person's privacy is unacceptably intruded upon and the victim fears for their safety.


Mobbing is violence committed directly or indirectly by a loosely affiliated and organized group of individuals to punish or even execute a person for an alleged offense without a lawful trial. The "offense" can range from a serious crime, like murder to simple expression of ethnic, cultural, or religious attitudes. The issue of the victim's actual guilt or innocence is often irrelevant to the mob, since the mob relies on contentions that are unverifiable, unsubstantiated, or completely fabricated.


Hazing is persecuting, harassing, or torturing in a deliberate, calculated, planned manner. Typically the targeted individual is a subordinate, for example, a fraternity pledge, a first-year military cadet, or somebody who is considered "inferior" or an "outsider." Hazing is illegal in many instances.


Backlash or "victim blaming" occurs when the harasser or other people in the environment blame the victim for the harassment or the resulting controversies and conflicts after the harassment is reported or discovered.

Backlash results when people erroneously believe the victim could stop the harassment if they really tried, or that the victim must have done something to cause the harassment. The victim may be accused of trying to get attention, covering for incompetence, or in cases where the harassment is proven, lying about the extent of the effects.

Outdated attitudes about certain kinds of harassment remain and there is often social pressure for victims to keep quiet about abuse or suffer the consequences.