Sexual harassment is any unwelcome sexual behaviour, which may include:
- Staring or leering
- Sexual comments or jokes
- Sexual insults
- Asking repeatedly for dates when it is unwanted
- Asking for sex
- Getting too close physically when this is unwanted
- Unwanted touching (could also be a criminal offence)
- Sexual assault (also a criminal offence)
- Inappropriate questions about your private life or your body
- Posters, magazines, screen savers, calendars and other items of a sexual nature
- Inappropriate email messages or video attachments, or downloading and printing pornographic material.
It is still considered sexual harassment if these behaviours are happening where you are exposed to them, even if they are not directed specifically at you. For example, if someone at your workplace displays pornography.
Sexual harassment and the law
Sexual harassment is against the law, under the Sex Discrimination Act
1984, where the behaviours happen in the workplace, school, accommodation, government programs, and where people are providing a service to you.
The Sex Discrimination Act 1984 also applies if you are over 16. If you are under 16, other laws may apply to your particular situation.
Sexual harassment is common. Some people think it’s a normal or acceptable way to treat other people. It’s not okay — this behaviour can make you feel humiliated, powerless and bad about yourself. It’s important to know your rights about sexual harassment.
Stalking and Cyber bullying
Stalking is when someone harasses another person over a period of time. They might do it through phone calls, sending emails, following them or watching them, or even threatening them. Stalking is often an extension of bullying in young people. Stalking is against the law.
It is common for young people to experience cyber bullying. This type of bullying happens online, through email, chat rooms, social networking sites, or through mobile phones.