Sexual harassment is characterized as any inappropriate sexually motivated verbal or physical behavior. People can feel threatened, humiliated, insulted, or intimidated as a result of it. Sexual harassment can occur at any time and in any place. Moreover, it has no gender. This kind of behavior is not restricted to any particular gender or type of person. You might not know or notice it, but it is quite prevalent in the everyday setting.
Different Places Where It Occurs
Women and men go through sexual harassment in their daily lives. According to a nationwide survey conducted by the nonprofit Stop Street Harassment, the vast majority of women and nearly half of men have faced sexual harassment. People can experience this kind of behavior anywhere. There is no place safe or free of such appalling stories. The variety of spheres where it can happen can be at home, or in public spaces, on a bus, or even the place of work, study, and place of worship.
People who take part in sexual harassment do not often care about the place they are. Touching a girl on a bus or train is equally prevalent as violating someone at home. Very often we hear incidents where victims talk about how someone in their family sexually abused them or had inappropriate behavior. So, figuring out sexual harassment and a commonplace for it might be difficult.
According to a report, women reported the top three locations where they suffered sexual harassment. The majority of them mentioned that most of the incidents occur in public places. While some had to go through sexual harassment at their workplace and even at home. For men, the most commonly identified locations were in public, at school, and at work, as well as at home or by phone or email.
Many people do not completely understand what sexual harassment includes. Sometimes, people might not realize that their actions or words can be deemed as a form of sexual harassment. People might not have bad intentions but the other person might take it otherwise. So, you must be aware of all kinds of sexual harassment that takes place.
Sexually explicit images, or text messages
Very often do we hear girls receiving unwanted pictures of private parts from boys. Or even boys asking for nude pictures from girls. Such a kind of non-consented sharing of media can land you in trouble. Moreover, if you face a problem like this, you should report it to the authorities.
When someone makes unwelcome sexual comments or movements while someone else is walking by. It is never appropriate to objectify or degrade others based on their gender or appearance. Catcalling can make people feel threatened, scared, and insulted as they walk.
Unwanted touching or physical contact
Some people are very reserved. And even outgoing people might prefer limited physical contact with any other person. So, there can be situations when a simple hug or a handshake may give out the wrong message. But obviously, the intention of the person matters.
Vulgar conduct or profane language
Vulgar language does not always have to be addressed specifically to you to be regarded as sexual harassment. Even if an offensive remark is not directed at a specific employee, the impact it has on the workplace atmosphere can affect him or her. However, the use of disrespectful, insensitive, or offensive language does not always constitute a violation of the law. When determining whether you were a victim or not of sexual harassment, there are several variables to consider.
People may feel stressed and awkward when they are subjected to sexual/romantic remarks or gestures along with the unwanted attention someone might be giving them. For example, a supervisor massages the shoulders of an employee or a teacher asks about the relationships of a pupil.
It’s also not acceptable to threaten to fire or prosecute anyone if they refuse to consider sexual advances. An individual should never be judged for refusing or resisting sexual attention.
While there are many other forms of sexual harassment, you must call out on it if you think it is happening around you.
How to Prevent Sexual Harassment
Prevention of sexual harassment can only take place with the change in the mindset of people. To bring change in how people view sexual harassment, we need to work on the grassroots level. Starting with home, their communities, and eventually the world.
We should use our collective powers to influence positive change by raising the younger generation with the right values and morals. For example, working on ways to promote new attitudes among young people when they grow up. Additionally, to effect social change, we must confront those closest to us when they make sexist jokes or engage in any kind of ‘locker room chatter’. We also must teach our children the importance of consent.