Special forms of conflict, discrimination and violence


Bullying, is a form of conflict escalation. This is the systematic (direct or indirect) attitude of hostility, harassment or discrimination against individuals within groups by other group members (single or multiple) or supervisors.

In order to be called bullying, such behavior has to happen frequently and over a longer period of time. Bullying is often made up of many small events that are not destructive in themselves, but in their accumulation cause great harm to those affected. The goal or effect of bullying is often the exclusion of individual members from the community (the team, the company, the school class.

Unresolved conflicts are the most common cause of bullying. This creates an imbalance in the course of conflict escalation – a hierarchical relationship of the opponents among each other.

But bullying can also have other causes; for example, it can be used strategically by corporate lines to cut jobs.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination that specifically targets the gender of the person concerned.

In our work, we therefore prefer the term sexualized discrimination and use it in parallel with the term sexual harassment, which appears in the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) and is thus legally relevant.

Sexualized discrimination is a common manifestation of violence against women, but it can also affect men

Jokes, insults and attacks that target a person's sexual identity can also be considered as sexual harassment.

Sexualized discrimination is any sexually documented behavior that is not desired by those affected and perceived by them as insulting and pejorative. It can express itself in words, gestures and actions, by failing to comment on looks or private life, relating insinuating jokes, showing pornographic images, penetrating looks, unwanted physical contact and advances, to criminally relevant offenses such as stalking and sexual coercion.


Stalking refers to a complex pattern of behavior in which another person is spied on, persecuted, threatened, under certain circumstances also physically attacked and, in rare cases, killed.

Stalkers usually feel absolutely within their rights and have no feelings of wrongdoing or remorse. They are often intelligent and competent in specialist (work) contexts; but also manipulative and thus not infrequently able to convincingly explain to third parties their – fantasized – relationship with those affected and make the complaints against them appear unfounded. They see no need to review their constructed or selective perceptions.