What is sexual harassment? It can range from
a suggestive statement to aggressive sexual assault. In many cases, males are
the aggressors, but women and girls can be sexually aggressive.
If you let people make sexually harassing
comments to you, it may give the message that it is OK for people to treat you
this way. These type of comments are mean and disrespectful. Would you want
someone to say that sort of thing to your little sister?
Teens and younger kids hear these
comments regularly. As a teen, it is important to be liked, to be part of the
crowd. The pressure to fit in is stressful. You may think, ”If I ignore it or
laugh, maybe they will back off.” However, that may not occur. You don’t
want to be identified as someone who doesn’t mind sexual harassment.
Stand up for yourself. Make it clear that
you expect others to respect your personal space. Make it clear that harassing
comments to you or toward others are not funny or flattering.
Are you wearing a bra?
If you don’t do it with me, I’ll tell everyone
that you did.
Internal boundaries are feelings and
thoughts about the way you feel and think. Ask yourself, “Does this feel right
or wrong?” Determine whether you like what the other person is saying (or
doing) to you or if you just like the attention.
External boundaries define the
relationship between your body and the bodies of others. You have the right to
decide whether it is OK for someone to touch you. Explore your personal
boundaries of safety. Ask yourself how close you feel comfortable standing to a
friend—a sibling—a stranger.
Be aware of your environment: Is this a
risky situation? Are there friends nearby who can help me if something happens?
Don’t get intoxicated. If you are
“out of it” you may not realize that someone is about to take advantage of
you. Some people don’t take your ”no” as seriously if you are drunk.
If a boyfriend pressures you for sex,
look him in the eye and say, ”no” firmly. If words don’t work, push him
away—as hard as necessary.
If you are alone with a boy who is
pressuring you, say you have to go to the bathroom or that you are having your
Give yourself time to think clearly—do
you truly want to have sex with this boy at this moment.
You may need to call a parent or a friend
to bring you home. Have an advance agreement with someone who can take you home
If you feel harassed or violated, tell
someone! At any point in a sexual encounter, you have the right to stop. You
should not allow others to victimize you.