Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is unwanted sexual behaviour. It’s not your fault and there is always help available.

What is sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature which, whether intended or not:

  • Violates your dignity
  • Creates an offensive environment

You don’t have to have previously objected to the behaviour for it to be unwanted.

It's not your fault

None of this is your fault, you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. You don’t deserve to be made to feel uncomfortable by anyone’s unwanted sexual behaviour. They may make you feel guilty and blame you for their behaviour, but you are not responsible for them or their behaviour.

Some of you may not want your parents to find out, but your parents should support you as you haven’t done anything wrong. You may feel like what happened goes against your culture as someone was sexual with you before marriage, but that wasn’t your fault.

You could be feeling guilty because you felt you had to go along with what happened for example by sending nude images of yourself. Unfortunately some people can manipulate other people in to doing things like this. Some people could also be using these images to blackmail you. We have a report remove service you can use to remove nude images of yourself that have been shared online.

Sexual harassment can be really upsetting and it can really help to talk about the way you are feeling. Our counsellors are always here to support you.

Sexual harassment includes unwanted:

  • Sexual advances and touching
  • Sexual comments both in person and online
  • Objectification of you by talking about your body
  • Asking intimate questions about your body
  • Showing or sending you sexually explicit pictures or videos
  • Sexual jokes or propositions
  • Talking to you about sex and porn

Sexual harassment can be done by anyone including other young people and family members.

What you can do

If someone is making you feel uncomfortable because of their unwanted sexual behaviour, you have every right to tell them how they are making you feel and to ask them to stop. They should respect this.

You should also keep a record of what’s happened and who sexually harassed you. You can also report this:

  • Online

If someone is sexually harassing online then you can report that to the website, platform or app, that it’s happening on, and they should take action against this. You should also be able to block that person from being able to send you more messages. If the same person is creating new accounts to harass you them then you should report that to the website, platform or app. Childline is also always here for you.

  • At School

You could tell a teacher or member of staff that you trust what’s been happening. It may feel difficult but you haven’t done anything wrong and deserve to feel safe and happy at school. Our conversation starter can make it easier, you can take your time to write down what’s been happening and how you would like to be supported. You can then give to an adult you trust.

Your school has a duty of care to you and they should take action to keep you safe.

  • Elsewhere

If you are being sexually harassed somewhere else, then you should tell an adult you trust. This could be another family member or a teacher. You have a right to be safe and to be treated with dignity and respect. Our conversation starter can make it easier to get the help that you need.

If you are unsure of what to do or just need someone to talk things through with, then our counsellors are always here to support you.