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Safeguarding Children and Young People

Policy and Guidelines

Safeguarding is defined as protecting children from abuse and maltreatment, preventing harm to children’s health or development, ensuring that children grow up in the provision of safe and effective care and taking action to enable all children to have the best life chances.

Policy Date:

October 2020

Version by:


Policy Review Date:

October 2021

Created By:

Chantelle Darlison

Reviewed By:



Deputy Manager



David Maksymiuw -

Trustee and Designated Safeguarding Lead


Chantelle Darlison - 

Deputy Manager and Designated Safeguarding Lead


Peter Smith -

Founder and Finance Officer


Charmaine Darlison - 

HR Assistant and Safer Recruitment Officer / 

Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead 


Martin Buchanan -

CEO and Health and Safety Officer


Leah Chapman - 

Assistant Designated Safeguarding Lead 

Where concerns regarding a young person occur, reports must be made in line with current procedures. You may contact the Designated Safeguarding Lead if you are unsure of whether to report a concern or need further clarification. Where applicable, an electronic safeguarding report should be sent in depth to the Designated Safeguarding Lead. The Designated Safeguarding Lead will then decide whether to take further action, i.e. to contact the young person’s school or external professional e.g. Early Help, LADO, police.  

Where concerns arise about a specific student from, Leicestershire Partnership Schools and/or Leicestershire Secondary Education and Inclusion Partnership, that organisation should be alerted, where necessary the Designated Safeguarding Lead will contact the relevant persons listed below: 

LPS Pran Pancholi

HBEP Anne Tookey

LIP Simon Chetwyn

MBP Helen Masoum

NWLLIP Charlie Scott

SLIP Elise Rogers

The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2’s current Designated Safeguarding Lead is:

Chantelle Darlison                            0116 235 9481                          This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 is fully committed to safeguarding the welfare of all children and young people by protecting them from physical, sexual, emotional harm and neglect. Safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children is everyone’s responsibility. Everyone who comes into contact with children and their families has a role to play. Everyone should, at all times, show respect and understanding for the rights of young people, their safety and welfare, and conduct themselves in a way that reflects our policies and procedures.

The aim of this policy is to safeguard and promote children and young people’s welfare, health and safety by fostering an honest, open, caring and supportive environment and our staff members working with children and young people to maintain an attitude of “Support. Act Fast. Empower.” where safeguarding is concerned.

Safeguarding is defined as:  


The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 fully adopts an open and accepting attitude towards children as part of its responsibility for pastoral care. Staff should, at all times, encourage children and parents to feel free to talk about any concerns and to see The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 as a safe place when there are difficulties. Children’s worries and fears will be taken seriously and children are encouraged to seek help from members of staff.

E2 will therefore:

The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 recognise that all staff and volunteers have a full and active part to play in protecting children and young people from harm, and that children and young people’s welfare is our paramount concern.   

The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 believes that the charity should provide a caring, positive, safe and stimulation environment that promotes the social, physical and moral development of children and young people.


Our charity’s procedures for safeguarding children are in line with the Leicester City Safeguarding Children’s Board (LSCB), Multi Agency Child Protection/Safeguarding Procedures; in addition to the statutory requirements as outlined in the Responsibilities section.


Staff & Visitors

All staff and volunteers, placements and visitors will be familiar with this safeguarding policy:

Parents and Carers

Parents/Carers will have access to the policy through our charities website. The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 has a statutory responsibility to share concerns it might have about a child or young person in need of protection with other organisations and agencies and in particular police, health and children’s services. The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 are not able to investigate concerns but have a legal duty to refer them. In most instances, the charity will be able to inform the parent/carers of its need to make a referral. However, sometimes the charity is advised by Children’s Social Care or police that the parent/carer cannot be informed whilst they investigate the matter. We understand the anxiety parents/carers understandably feel when they are not told about any concerns from the outset. The charity follows legislation that aims to act in the best interests of the child or young person. 


The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 will ensure that: 


The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 understands that is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard children and young people. Concerns should be raised as soon as a staff member or volunteer suspects/knows of a concern that we may have about children and young people. The first point of contact is the DSL or other members of the Safeguarding Team (in their absence). The DSL will inform the CEO of any referrals to be made. If the concerns are in regards to the conduct of a staff member, the Board of Trustees will also be informed.

If a staff member feels they cannot disclose information to the DSL, CEO or Board of Trustees, they must follow out charities whistleblowing procedures to report their concerns.  

All staff members will be versed in the Whistleblowing procedure, understand when it is appropriate to use the procedures and will be given details of the NSPCC whistleblowing helpline.  

The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 will fulfil local and national responsibilities and best practice as laid out in the following documents:

Designated Safeguarding Lead

Keeping Children Safe in Education September 2020, Annex B, outlines specific responsibilities of the DSL and their responsibilities within this role. Our Designated Safeguarding Lead will take lead responsibility for safeguarding and child protection (including online safety).

Their key areas of responsibilities include: 

Manage Referrals

Work With Others 

Undertake Training 

Raise Awareness 


The Designated Safeguarding Lead (or assistant) will always be available on site.  

Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees of The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 will ensure that:


We recognise that all matters relating to child protection are confidential and the best interest of a child should be considered at all times. However, The Data Protection Act 2018 and GDPR do not prevent, or limit, the sharing of information for the purposes of keeping children safe. Fears about sharing information must not be allowed to stand in the way of the need to promote the welfare and protect the safety of children.

The CEO or DSL will disclose personal information about a student to other members of staff on a need to know basis only. Staff will be informed of relevant details only when the DSL feels their having knowledge of a situation will improve their ability to deal with an individual student/family. A written record will be made of what information has been shared, with whom, and when. 

All staff must be aware that they have a professional responsibility to share information with other agencies in order to safeguard children. 

All staff must be aware that they cannot promise a child to keep secrets which might compromise the child’s own safety or well-being, or that of another child as this may ultimately not be in the best interest of the child.  

We will always undertake to share our intention to refer a child to Children’s Social Care with their parents/carers consent unless to do so could put the child at greater risk of harm, or impede a criminal investigation. If in doubt, we will consult with the Children’s Social Care, duty & Advice Service. 

Supporting Staff

We recognise that staff working in the school who have become involved with a child who has suffered harm, or appears to be likely to suffer harm may find the situation stressful and upsetting. 

We will support such staff by providing an opportunity to talk through their anxieties and concerns with the DSL and to seek further support where necessary. This could be provided by, for example, the CEO, by Occupational Health and trade union representative as appropriate.  

We understand that staff should have access to advice on the boundaries of appropriate behaviour. Guidance for safer working practice for those working with children and young people in education settings, 2019 (Safer Recruitment Consortium). provides advice on this and the circumstances which should be avoided, in order to limit complaints against staff of abuse of trust, and/or allegations of physical or sexual abuse. These matters form part of staff induction and are referred to in the staff handbook/code of conduct. 

We recognise that DSL’s should have access to support and appropriate workshops, courses or meetings as organised or arranged through the Local Authority/LSCB.


All school staff including supply staff should take care not to place themselves in a vulnerable position with a child or young person. It is always advisable for interviews or work with individual children or parents to be conducted in view of other adults. 

All staff should be aware of the Behaviour Policy and Staff Code of Conduct 

All staff should be aware of the Guidance for Safer Working Practices for Adults who work with Children and Young People 2019. 

We understand that a student may make an allegation against a member of staff; if such an allegation is made, the member of staff receiving the allegation will immediately inform the CEO or the Deputy Manager if the CEO is not present. 

The CEO/Deputy Manager on all such occasions will immediately discuss the content of the allegation with the Local Authority Designated Officer (LADO) and follow the process for managing the concern laid down in the LSCB Procedures.

If the allegation made to a member of staff concerns the CEO, the person receiving the allegation will immediately inform the Board of Trustees who will consult with Children’s Social Care, LADO, without notifying the CEO first. (0116 454 2440)

In all occasions identified above, the charity will follow the LSCB/Local Authority procedures for managing allegations against staff and volunteers. 

Suspension of the member of staff against whom an allegation has been made needs careful consideration, and we will consult in making this decision.

In line with this policy and other charity procedures for incident reporting/recording, staff and students may provide accounts of events which will be stored under our own secure systems and may be produced in the event of any allegation. However, such accounts must not constitute an official statement and the reporting person must not be questioned over their disclosure at this stage.


The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 recognises that children and young people cannot be expected to raise concerns in an environment where staff fail to do so. All staff should be aware of their duty to raise concerns about the attitude or actions of colleagues. If necessary, they should speak to the Board of Trustees or the Local Authority Designated Officer. All staff are aware of and understand how to use our charity’s whistleblowing procedures. All staff have access to the NSPCC Whistleblowing Helpline.


The Cooke E-Learning Foundation T/A E2 recognise that the charity plays a significant part in the prevention of harm to our children and young people by providing effectives lines of communication with trusted adults, supportive friends and an ethos of protection.

Risk Reduction

The Board of Trustees, CEO and the DSL’s for safeguarding will assess the level of risk within the charity and put actions in place to reduce that risk. When any member of staff has concerns that a student may be at risk of radicalisation or involvement in terrorism, they should speak with the DSL in the first instance. Numerous factors can contribute to and influence the range of behaviours that are defined as violent extremism, but most young people do not become involved in extremist action. For this reason, the appropriate interventions in any particular case may not have any specific connection to the threat of radicalisation, for example they may address mental health, relationship or drug/alcohol issues. 


County Lines

Criminal exploitation of children is a widespread form of harm that is a typical feature of county lines criminal activity: drug networks or gangs groom and exploit children and young people to carry drugs and money from urban areas to suburban and rural areas, market and seaside towns. County Lines is a term used when drug gangs from big cities expand their operations to smaller towns, often using violence to drive out local dealers and exploiting children and vulnerable people to sell drugs.

Common feature in county lines drug supply is the exploitation of young and vulnerable people. The dealers will frequently target children and adults - often with mental health or addiction problems - to act as drug runners or move cash so they can stay under the radar of law enforcement.  

People exploited in this way will quite often be exposed to physical, mental and sexual abuse, and in some instances will be trafficked to areas a long way from home as part of the network's drug dealing business.

Serious Violence, Gang Violence & Youth Crime

A gang is a group of individuals that spends time in public and engages in criminal activity and violence. The group may also be territorial or in conflict with other gangs. Young people involved in gangs have an increased risk of experiencing violence and other types of abuse including sexual exploitation. Gang crime and serious youth violence is also often synonymous with knife crime and other serious violence.

The vast majority of young people and education establishments will not be affected by serious violence or gangs. However, where these problems do occur there will almost certainly be a significant impact.

Gangs specifically target children and young people who have been excluded from school to groom them as drug dealers in towns across the UK. Exclusion from school appears to be a highly significant trigger point for the escalation of County Lines involvement for children who might be on the fringes of such activity or who are easily manipulated.

Knife Crime

Knife crime has been receiving countrywide attention after being recognised as a contemporary national treat in the UK. There have been a number of high-profile incidents where teenagers have been killed or injured by someone using a knife as a weapon. Knife crime simply put is any crime that involves a knife. This includes: 

Child Criminal Exploitation and Cybercrime Involvement

Organised criminal groups or individuals exploit children and young people due to their computer skills and ability, in order to access networks/data for criminal and financial gain. There are a number of signs that may indicate a student is a victim or is vulnerable to being exploited which include;  

Child Criminal Exploitation and Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE)

County Lines criminal exploitation is also synonymous with Child Sexual Exploitation. Criminal activity and Gang Association can lead into CSE through situations such as initiation, peer pressure in addition to sexual favours. Although county lines is mainly criminal, all our staff are aware of the definitions of CSE, signs and impact on vulnerable children.

Modern Slavery & Trafficking

Slavery is an umbrella term for activities involved when one person obtains or holds another person in compelled service. The number of British children identified as potential victims of modern slavery has more than doubled in a year, prompting fresh concerns about child exploitation by county lines drugs gangs.  

Someone is in slavery if they are: 

Peer on peer abuse/ Peer influence

KCSIE 2020 is explicit in their definition of Peer on Peer abuse and its forms. However, within the context of contextual safeguarding, peer on peer abuse and peer influence has a massive impact on the child and young person (CYP). If CYP are exposed to other CYP who are known for being exploited, they are more likely to experience peer on peer abuse and be ‘influenced’ /‘swayed’ to participate in illegal activity, criminal activity and sexual activity. 

Children and the court system

Children are sometimes required to give evidence in criminal courts, either for crimes committed against them or for crimes they have witnessed. There are two age appropriate guides to support children 5- 11-year olds and 12-17 year olds.


Child Sexual Exploitation & Trafficking

CSE is a form of abuse and occurs when an individual or group takes advantage of an imbalance of power to coerce, manipulate or deceive a child into sexual activity. Sexual exploitation can take many forms ranging from seemingly consensual relationships to serious gang and group exploitation. 

Therefore, our staff are vigilant for the less obvious signs, such as lots of new electronic equipment, when before there was none, seeming to have extra money to spend, moving away from established friendship groups, and the use of language appropriate/inappropriate for the child’s age. 

Grooming & Sexting

Child sexual exploitation can occur in different ways and in different situations. Many young people are ‘groomed’ by their abuser, online or face-to-face. Grooming is an action deliberately undertaken with the aim of befriending and establishing an emotional connection with a child, to lower the child’s inhibitions with the intention to sexually abuse them. Groomers will hide their true intentions and may spend a long time gaining a child's trust through a range of mediums including social media platforms. Section 67 of the Serious Crime Act 2015 (offence of Sexual Communication with a Child) which came into force on 3 April 2017 also applies to Sexting and Grooming and our staff are fully aware of the legislation

Domestic Violence and Abuse & Violence between young people

The cross-government definition of domestic violence and abuse is:  

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive, threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are, or have been, intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. The abuse can encompass, but is not limited to:  

There have been a number of high profiles cases both locally and nationally where domestic violence and abuse has had a significant and direct impact on the child and their wellbeing. If the school is made aware of incidents of domestic violence which is impacting on a child within the school, (suspicions and allegations of abuse, harm and significant risk to a child), the school will follow Local Authority and Leicester Safeguarding Board guidelines in reporting such concerns to Children’s Social Care, Duty and Advice or the Police and will also seek further guidance where necessary.  

Domestic abuse is not limited to adults; there is an increasing awareness of violence from one teenager to another;   

Child Missing from Education

A Child Missing From Education forms part of the wider LSCB procedures for children who go missing from School, Home, Care Education and includes Families who go missing.

Female Genital Mutilation

Female Genital Mutilation is an illegal operation under the Female Mutilation Act 2003, is a form of child abuse and as such, is dealt with under the charity’s Child Protection & Safeguarding Policy.


Leicestershire Police

999 / 0116 222 2222

One Front Door

Duty & Advice

Early Help & Support

0116 454 1004

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Children's Safeguarding Unit 

0116 454 2440

Safeguarding in Education 

Julie Chapaneri & Mohammed Patel 

0116 454 2440 

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Individual Staff/Volunteers/Other Adults - main procedural steps



Designated Safeguarding Lead – main procedural steps



  1. The Local Safeguarding Children Board Procedures contain the inter-agency processes, protocols and expectations for safeguarding children. (Available on LSCB website The Designated Safeguarding Lead is expected to be aware of these, particularly the referral processes. However if the referral regards a student enrolled on our alternative education provision, the first step will be to contact the school and E2 will make a direct referral only when that contact has not been successful or in emergency.
  2. It is important that all parties act swiftly and avoid delays.
  3. Any person may seek advice and guidance from the First Response Children’s Duty Professionals Consultation Line, particularly if there is doubt about how to proceed. Any adult, whatever their role, can take action in his/her own right to ensure that an allegation or concern is investigated and can report to the investigating agencies.
  4. A safeguarding report, dated and signed, must be made to what has been alleged, noticed and reported, and kept securely and confidentially.
  5. In many cases of concern there will be an expectation that there have already been positive steps taken to work with parents and relevant parties to help alleviate the concerns and effect an improvement for the child. This is appropriate where it is thought that a child may be in need in some way, and require assessment to see whether additional support and services are required. An example might be where it is suspected a child  may be the subject of neglect. In most cases the parents’ knowledge and consent to the referral are expected, unless there is reason for this not being in the child’s interest. However, there will be circumstances when informing the parent/carer of a referral that might put the child at risk, and in individual cases advice from Children’s Social Care will need to be taken.

Individual Staff/Volunteers/Other Adults – main procedural steps

When a child makes a disclosure, or when concerns are received from other sources, do not investigate, ask leading questions, examine children, or promise confidentiality. Children making disclosures should be reassured and if possible at this stage should be informed what action will be taken next.

  1. Within 24 hours make a safeguarding report of what has been disclosed or noticed, said or done and report to the Designated Safeguarding Lead at E2. 
  2. If the concern involves the conduct of a member of staff or volunteer, a visitor, a trainee or another young person or child, E2’s DSL must be informed.
  3. If this has not already been done, inform the child (or other party who has raised the concern) what action you have taken.

Designated Safeguarding Lead – main procedural steps to be taken in accordance with this policy and procedures. 

(NB It may not be necessary for E2 to follow all these steps if it regards a student enrolled on our alternative education provision e.g. there is a school that is already taking action.  Special note should be taken of clauses 4, 6 and 7 where E2 may need to take urgent action)

  1. Begin a case file which will hold a record of communications and actions to be stored securely (see Section on Records, Monitoring and Transfer).
  2. Where initial enquiries do not justify a referral to the investigating agencies, inform the initiating adult and monitor the situation. If in doubt, seek advice from the First Response professionals consultation line.
  3. Share information confidentially with those who need to know.
  4. Where there is a child protection concern requiring immediate, same day, intervention from Children’s Social Care, the First Response Children’s Duty should be contacted by phone. Written confirmation should be made within 24 hours on the LSCB Agency Referral Form to Children’s Social Care. All other referrals should be made using the online form (see link
  5. If the concern is about children using harmful sexual behaviour, refer to the separate guidance. “Guidance for schools working with children who display harmful sexual behaviour” (Leicestershire LA Guidance).
  6. If it appears that urgent medical attention is required to arrange for the child to be taken to hospital (normally this means calling an ambulance) accompanied by a member of staff who must inform medical staff that non-accidental injury is suspected. Parents must be informed that the child has been taken to hospital.
  7. Exceptional circumstances: If it is feared that the child might be at immediate risk on leaving the E2’s site, take advice from the First Response Professionals Consultation line (for instance about difficulties if the school day has ended, or on whether to contact the police). Remain with the child until the Social Worker takes responsibility. If in these circumstances a parent arrives to collect the child, the member of staff has no right to withhold the child, unless there are current legal restrictions in force (eg a restraining order). If there are clear signs of physical  risk or threat, First Response Children’s Duty should be updated and the Police should be contacted immediately.


1. Neglect

Neglect is the persistent failure to meet a child's basic physical and/or psychological needs, likely to result in the serious impairment of the child's health or development. Neglect may occur during pregnancy as a result of maternal substance abuse. Once a child is born, neglect may involve a parent or carer failing to: 

Provide adequate food, clothing and shelter (including exclusion from home or abandonment); 

Protect a child from physical and emotional harm or danger; 

Ensure adequate supervision (including the use of inadequate care-givers); or 

Ensure access to appropriate medical care or treatment.  

It may also include neglect of, or unresponsiveness to, a child's basic emotional needs. The following may be indicators of neglect (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):  

Neglect is a priority for Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland LSCB. Neglect has been identified as a feature in national & local Serious Case Reviews (SCR’s), local learning reviews and multi-agency audits. Our local LSCB have developed a Neglect Toolkit to support practitioners identify neglect earlier in families. Key staff members and DSL’s in our school are versed with this document and understand when to use it.

2. Physical Abuse 

Physical abuse may involve hitting, shaking, throwing, poisoning, burning or scalding, drowning, suffocating or otherwise causing physical harm to a child. Physical harm may also be caused when a parent or carer fabricates the symptoms of, or deliberately induces, illness in a child. 

The following may be indicators of physical abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):   

3. Sexual Abuse 

Sexual abuse involves forcing or enticing a child or young person to take part in sexual activities, not necessarily involving a high level of violence, whether or not the child is aware of what is happening. The activities may involve physical contact, including assault by penetration (for example, rape or oral sex) or non-penetrative acts such as masturbation, kissing, rubbing and touching outside of clothing. They may also include non-contact activities, such as involving children in looking at, or in the production of, sexual images, watching sexual activities, encouraging children to behave in sexually inappropriate ways, or grooming a child in preparation for abuse (including via the internet). Sexual abuse is not solely perpetrated by adult males. Women can also commit act of sexual abuse, as can other children.  

The following may be indicators of sexual abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):  

3a. Sexual Exploitation

Child sexual exploitation occurs when a child or young person, or another person, receives “something” (for example food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of the child/young person performing sexual activities, or another person performing sexual activities on the child/young person. Sexual Exploitation can also include Grooming and Sexting.  

The presence of any significant indicator for sexual exploitation should trigger a referral to children’s social care. The significant indicators are: (no an exhaustive list)   

4. Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse is the persistent emotional maltreatment of a child such as to cause severe and persistent adverse effects on the child's emotional development. It may involve conveying to children that they are worthless or unloved, inadequate, or valued only insofar as they meet the needs of another person. It may include not giving the child opportunities to express their views, deliberately silencing them or 'making fun' of what they say or how they communicate. It may feature age or developmentally inappropriate expectations being imposed on children. These may include interactions that are beyond the child's developmental capability, as well as overprotection and limitation of exploration and learning, or preventing the child participating in normal social interaction. It may also involve seeing or hearing the ill-treatment of another person. It may involve serious bullying (including cyber bullying), causing children frequently to feel frightened or in danger, or the exploitation or corruption of children. Some level of emotional abuse is involved in all types of maltreatment. The following may be indicators of emotional abuse (this is not designed to be used as a checklist):  

N.B.: Some situations where children stop communication suddenly (known as “traumatic mutism”) can indicate maltreatment 

6. Sexual Harassment and Sexual Violence 

Sexual violence 

It is important that school and college staff are aware of sexual violence and the fact children can, and sometimes do, abuse their peers in this way. When referring to sexual violence we are referring to sexual offences under the Sexual Offences Act 2003 as described below: 

Rape: A person (A) commits an offence of rape if: he intentionally penetrates the vagina, anus or mouth of another person (B) with his penis, B does not consent to the penetration and A does not reasonably believe that B consents. 

Assault by Penetration: A person (A) commits an offence if: s/he intentionally penetrates the vagina or anus of another person (B) with a part of her/his body or anything else, the penetration is sexual, B does not consent to the penetration and A does not reasonably believe that B consents.  

Sexual Assault: A person (A) commits an offence of sexual assault if: s/he intentionally touches another person (B), the touching is sexual, B does not consent to the touching and A does not reasonably believe that B consents.  

What is consent? Consent is about having the freedom and capacity to choose. Consent to sexual activity may be given to one sort of sexual activity but not another, vaginal but not anal sex or penetration with conditions, such as wearing a condom. Consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity and each time activity occurs. Someone consents to vaginal, anal or oral penetration only if s/he agrees by choice to that penetration and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice.  

Sexual harassment 

When referring to sexual harassment we mean ‘unwanted conduct of a sexual nature’ that can occur online and offline. When we reference sexual harassment, we do so in the context of child on child sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is likely to: violate a child’s dignity, and/or make them feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated and/or create a hostile, offensive or sexualised environment.  

Whilst not intended to be an exhaustive list, sexual harassment can include: