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This can happen to anyone, regardless of gender or sexuality; and could be from someone of the same or different sex. It doesn’t matter if it was ‘banter’ or if they didn’t mean it, it is still sexual harassment if they made you feel this way.
This unwanted sexual behaviour can happen anywhere such as at school, on the bus or at work and can be a ‘one-off’ or repeated behaviour. Sexual harassment can appear in many different forms, these commonly include:
In a report on street harassment (2018) Plan UK reported that 66% of girls in the UK have experienced sexual attention or sexual or physical contact in a public place.
Experiencing sexual harassment can be very upsetting. It can often cause a lot of distress and can lead to headaches, anxiety, depression, problems sleeping and eating, and loss of self-confidence.
If you have been sexually harassed, it is not your fault and no one should have to put up with it. We have listed a few steps below which could help you to try and put a stop to it:
Send the message that it is not OK. For example, try not to nervously laugh or smile when the harassment is happening.
If you feel comfortable doing so, tell the person that you don’t like what they are doing and you want it to stop. If you don’t feel safe confronting them, speak to someone else who can help.
Note when and where the sexual harassment happens.
If you’ve noticed it’s happening to another person as well, you can try and support each other in reporting it.
Either your school or HR department at work will have to follow up and investigate your report.
If you are being sexually harassed at work or by your landlord you are protected by the Equality Act 2010 which categorises sexual harassment under unlawful discrimination. This also includes if you are being treated badly due to your reaction to the harassment. Follow the links below for further help and support:
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