Sexual harassment happens when one person uses sexual words, gestures, looks, or touches that may make another person feel uncomfortable or unsafe. Sexual harassment is a form of discrimination. It means that someone is treated differently because of his or her gender. It may be repeated or it may be very offensive on a one-time basis. It is usually intentional, but sometimes people don't know that they are sexually harassing another person. Anyone can be harassed and anyone can be a harasser.
Harassment is NEVER the fault of the victim. Some people harass others when they feel badly about themselves or need to have power and control over others.
Even if the person experiencing the behavior does not seem to be upset, it is sexual harassment if it makes others feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Ignoring sexual harassment will not make it stop. In some cases, ignoring it will only make it worse because the harasser may think that the behavior is okay.
What is the difference between sexual harassment and flirting?
Sexual harassment and flirting are NOT the same. Flirting feels good. Sexual harassment does not.
Flirting happens when both people agree to flirt and both enjoy it. Flriting makes aperson feel attractive, is a compliment, is two-way and is an enjoyable experience.
Sexual harassment makes one person feel uncomfortable and unsafe. Sexual harassment feels bad, makes a person feel threatened, is degrading, is one-way, and is a negative experience.
(Information taken from www.fris.org)