I think someone I know has been sexually harassed 

If you think someone you know has been sexually harassed there are lots of ways in which you can help them. 

Understanding the behaviours associated with sexual harassment is a good place to start. Most people will be able to describe what has or is happening to them and how it's making them feel. 
Sexual harassment is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature which violates your dignity, makes you feel intimidated, degraded or humiliated, or creates a hostile or offensive environment. 

Listen.  Just taking the time to listen to someone and talk about what has happened can help. These six active listening tips might help you support them. 
(Published on Oct 4, 2015 Based on the Samaritans guidelines for active listening) 

Give options.  When they have finished talking ask them if they are okay to talk through some possible options and next steps. 

Remember: 
 
They might not want to report the harassment to the police or the University.  There are a lot of reasons why someone may choose not to report sexual harassment. 
 
They might be concerned that people won’t believe them or may not identify what occurred as sexual harassment. 
            
They may be concerned who else might be informed. 
 
They may have fear of or confusion about what happens if you report it to the University. 
 
If drugs or alcohol were involved, they may choose not to report because they are worried they will get in trouble as well. 
 
It is up to them to decide what they want to disclose and to whom.  Your support can help them talk through their concerns. 
 
Let them know that you believe them and support their decisions. 
 
Encourage them to access one of the sources of support listed in this site.
 
It can be difficult and upsetting to receive a disclosure of sexual harassment so it’s important that you look after your own emotional wellbeing. You may wish to explore the sources of support available so that you can access support if you need it. 
 
 

 

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There are two ways you can report something