Sexual harassment is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature which:
- makes you feel undermined, intimidated or degraded
- suggests a reward in exchange for a sexual favour
- makes being at school, college or the workplace uncomfortable.
You don’t need to have previously objected to someone’s behaviour for it to be considered unwanted and it can be perpetrated by both men and women. Sexual harassment can take the form of:
- sexual comments
- sexual jokes
- sending emails, letters or texts with sexual content
- displaying sexual pictures
- asking about your sex life.
If you’re being sexually harassed, you might:
- feel stressed, anxious or depressed
- withdraw from social situations
- lose confidence or self-esteem.
No one deserves, or asks, to be sexually harassed. Everyone has the right to work and live in an environment that’s free from harassment, bullying, discrimination and violence. Sexual harassment is illegal (under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984).
If you are experiencing sexual harassment, it is a good idea to keep any evidence, such as emails or texts and keep a diary of events as evidence. If it is happening at work or education setting, you may want to make a formal complaint.