Teens and Sexual Harassment: How to say “no” so he knows you mean it.

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.

Harassing Statements

Are you wearing a bra?

Nice butt!

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

without questions.

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.