What has brought you here?
You are mostly likely here because you have experienced unwanted physical contact or some form of sexual harassment. You could have been simply walking along the street and been catcalled by a group of men or been in a busy club filled with intoxicated punters and someone decides to place their hand somewhere you are not comfortable with. The fact is most of you sitting here reading this will have experienced something similar to these scenarios.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman; at some point in your life you are going to experience a situation like this. This shouldn’t have to be the case.The aim of this blog is to say that it’s not okay.
The great thing about the internet is that it has enabled us to talk about this issue. Because this is such a sensitive topic many men and women don’t talk about the sexual harassment they’ve experienced. There are various reasons why a victim may not wish to report sexual harassment:
- They may be afraid of loosing their job.
- Worried that they may be accused of lying.
- Victim’s are often blamed for being sexually harassed because of “what they were wearing.”
- Anxious of what other’s may think of them.
However it’s important to remember that you are you’re number one priority. It doesn’t matter what others think.
There’s the underlying fact that this affects women more than it does men. A TUC survey of 1,500 women found that 52% of these women had experienced unwanted sexual harassment at work. You can find the recent BBC news article here.
How do you know you’ve experienced a form of sexual harassment?
Any of the following unwanted behaviour may constitute as sexual harassment:
- wolf whistles
- discussion of one’s partner’s sexual inadequacies
- sexual innuendo
- comments about women’s bodies
- ‘accidentally’ brushing sexual parts of the body
- lewd & threatening letters
- tales of sexual exploitation
- graphic descriptions of pornography
- pressure for dates
- sexually explicit gestures
- unwelcome touching and hugging
- sexual sneak attacks, (e.g., grabbing breasts or buttocks )
- sabotaging women’s work
- sexist and insulting graffiti
- demanding, “Hey, baby, give me a smile”
- inappropriate invitations (e.g., hot tub)
- sexist jokes and cartoons
- hostile put-downs of women
- exaggerated, mocking ‘courtesy’
- public humiliation
- obscene phone calls
- displaying pornography in the workplace
- insisting that workers wear revealing clothes
- inappropriate gifts (ex. lingerie)
- hooting, sucking, lip-smacking, & animal noises
- pressing or rubbing up against the victim
- sexual assault
- soliciting sexual services
- leaning over , invading a person’s space
- indecent exposure
Compiled by Martha Langelan in Back Off! How To Confront And Stop Sexual Harassment and Harassers
From personal experience I have found that sexual harassment is something that’s just laughed off or is now something that society has taught us that we have to accept and “deal with.” However I am positive that I’m not the only person that is sick to death of it and desperately wants change. In my next post’s I will be presenting to you the different places you can go to get help, or even somewhere you can go anonymously to get things of your chest. I am here to help in any way I can.