Sexual harassment is any form of unwanted verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature that violates your dignity or creates an offensive and dangerous environment.
Whether it’s intended or not, being a target of sexual harassment is never your fault. Someone who sexually harasses you may try to make you feel guilty or shameful but you are not responsible for them or their behaviour.
Sexual harassment can include unwanted:
Sexual harassment can happen anywhere – in school, where you live, among your peers or among adults.
What should I do if someone is sexually harassing me?
If someone is sexually harassing you, you have the right to tell them to stop. No one deserves to be the target of unwanted sexual behaviour, and the harasser should respect this.
Here’s what to do if the sexual harassment continues:
If the harassment is happening in person
- Tell someone you trust as soon as possible. A parent, teacher or another trusted adult will be able to take action to keep you safe and stop the harassment for good.
- Remember: you haven’t done anything wrong and deserve to feel safe and supported by the people you trust.
If the harassment is happening online
- Take a screenshot of the offensive messages, as you may be asked to provide evidence
- Report the offensive messages or content using the reporting tools in the service or app
- Block the person
- If the harasser is creating new accounts to keep harassing you, report it to the service
Keep in mind: any sexual image of you taken while you are under 18 is considered child exploitation material. That means if your harasser has a sexual image of you, they are committing a crime and should be reported to An Garda Síochána.
If you’re unsure of what to do or need to talk, you can always reach out to Childline. Call 1800 66 66 66, send a text to 50101 or chat online at Childline.ie, 24 hours a day, every day.